TVEL JSC has supplied a batch of nuclear fuel for the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR). The fuel assemblies were manufactured at Machine-building Plant in Elekrostal, Moscow region, which is the only one uranium fuel manufacturer for fast neutron reactors in the world.
The fuel has been supplied under the contract between TVEL JSC, China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation and China Institute of Atomic Energy (the site where the reactor is located). CEFR is used for research purposes, though it also operates within a 20 MW power unit supplying electricity to the grid, and it is classified by IAEA as the only fast power reactor in the world outside of Russia.
Russian nuclear fuel supplies make an integral part the overwhelming Russian-Chinese cooperation in fast reactors technology development. As the logical sequel of the CEFR project, which was designed with the direct involvement of Rosatom, the China demonstration reactor CFR-600 within a 600 MW power unit is under construction in Fujian Province in the South-East of China.
The nuclear fuel supply contract for CFR-600 between TVEL JSC and CNLY (a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation) came into force in early 2019. The fuel for CFR-600 will be also fabricated at the Machine-building Plant.
“The cooperation with our Chinese partners is strategic and overwhelming for TVEL Fuel Company. We supply fuel to the VVER-1000 powered units of Tianwan NPP, we have localized fabrication of VVER-1000 fuel under license at Yibin plant which we supply with Russian-made fuel components. At the same time, we are negotiating fuel contracts for the new VVER-1200 power units in China, which will be constructed by Rosatom. The cooperation in fast reactor technologies, including the fuel cycle, has a strategic meaning as it aims at creation of dual-component nuclear power generation in the future,” commented Oleg Grigoriyev, Senior Vice-President for Commerce and International Business at TVEL JSC.