INB contracted to supply Angra fuel reloads

15 March 2022

Brazilian utility Eletronuclear has awarded front-end fuel cycle company Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB) a contract to supply fuel assemblies to units 1 and 2 of the Angra nuclear power plant.

Angra units 1 and 2 (Image: Eletronuclear)

The contract - the value of which was not disclosed - covers the supply of fuel for five reloads at each of the Angra units.

INB said the new contract model was prepared after "extensive negotiations between representatives of the two companies and met the necessary updates to the current legislation, the companies' bidding and contracts regulation, and the most current market and governance practices."

INB created a special working group with representatives from different areas to study the necessary technical-commercial adjustments necessary for the contract.

"Signing this contract was important to harmonise our needs with those of Eletronuclear," said João Carlos Tupinambá, INB's strategic planning and marketing superintendent and coordinator of the working group. "It was a win-win contract, in which we managed to adjust the supply conditions and agreed on the steps of the two companies."

INB President Carlos Freire Moreira added: "It is yet another milestone that demonstrates the competence of our technical staff. In addition, it is a very important result for the company. It is certainly one more step towards achieving our main strategic goal, which is financial self-sufficiency."

The last nuclear fuel supply contract between INB and Eletronuclear was signed in 2011.

During refuelling outages, which occur about once per year, around one-third of the used fuel assemblies in the reactor core are replaced with new ones. The new contract covers the 28th-32nd refuelling of Angra unit 1 and the 19th-23rd refuelling of unit 2.

The two units at the Angra plant have operated since 1982 and 2000 and produce about 3% of Brazil's power. Construction of a third reactor at Angra is expected to get under way again after a restructuring of the stalled project.

INB's fuel fabrication plant designed by Siemens is located at Resende, with capacity of 120 tonnes per year of pellet production and 280 tonnes per year of fuel assembly production, according to World Nuclear Association. INB produces different fuel assemblies for use in Angra 1 and 2, which are of different pressurised water reactor designs.

Angra 1, which is based on Westinghouse technology, uses 121 4-metre-long fuel assemblies, each containing 235 rods rigidly positioned in a metal frame formed by 10 spacer grids, one protective grid, 20 guide tubes and one instrumentation tube; and two nozzles, one bottom and one top.

Angra 2 uses Siemens technology and uses 193 5-metre-long fuel assemblies, each containing 236 rods rigidly positioned in a metal frame formed by 9 spacer grids, one protective grid, 20 guide tubes and two nozzles, one bottom and one top.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News