TVEL and Paks sign U-Gd fuel supply contract

06 June 2008

Russia's TVEL has signed a contract with Hungary's Paks nuclear power plant for the supply of uranium-gadolinium (U-Gd) fuel. TVEL said that use of the fuel should enable the Paks reactors to operate at a higher thermal power capacity, up to 108% (1485 MW). It added that the fuel would also reduce the number of fuel assemblies required for the reactor core refuelling by some 12%, shorten refuelling outage time and reduce costs of used fuel management. The fuel would also enable the Paks plant to shift to the five-year fuel campaign and increase fuel burnup, TVEL added. A batch of lead U-Gd fuel assemblies will be loaded into unit 3 at Paks in 2009. All four Paks units will begin using the fuel as from 2010. The fuel supply contract specifies the price of the fuel for the period 2009 to 2011. TVEL and Paks was signed fuel supply contract in 1999 covering the period until the end of the plant's service life, expected in 2037.