Ulba-FA completes fuel production qualification process

03 January 2024

Technology holder Framatome has confirmed Kazatomprom has completed the qualification process for the production of AFA 3G type A fuel assemblies at the Ulba-FA LLP plant, which produces nuclear fuel for Chinese nuclear power plants. Production of type A assemblies is expected to begin this year.

Production of AFA 3G fuel assemblies at the Ulba-FA plant (Image: Kazatomprom)

The Kazakh national atomic energy company has released an image of a document signed by Framatome Senior Executive Vice President Lionel Gaiffe, dated 18 December 2023, confirming that the plant, a Kazakh-Chinese joint venture, "has been formally evaluated and successfully passed all conditions" and is qualified to manufacture AFA 3G A fuel assemblies.

The 200 tU Ulba-FA fuel assembly plant, which uses Framatome fuel assembly manufacturing technology and equipment manufactured in China, France and the USA, began operations in November 2021 and delivered its first batch of fresh fuel to China General Nuclear subsidiary CGNPC-URC in 2022.

Work on the qualification of fuel assembly production started in March 2023 and was implemented in four stages, Kazatomprom said. The qualification allows the plant to produce AFA 3G type A fuel assemblies, in addition to AFA 3G AA fuel assemblies, thus expanding the product line, it added. The company said it plans to commission industrial production of AFA 3G type A fuel assemblies and supply a batch to China this year.

Ulba-FA LLP is a joint venture of Kazatomprom subsidiary UMP JSC and CGNPC-URC.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News