Alliance brings Russian fuel to US market

24 May 2016

Global Nuclear Fuel Americas (GNF-A) and Russian nuclear fuel company TVEL have agreed to work together to introduce Russian-designed pressurized water reactor fuel into the USA.  

The companies have announced a strategic alliance to introduce lead use assemblies (LUAs) of TVEL's TVS-K fuel design in the USA and to seek licensing approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to supply the fuel in reload quantities.

GNF-A will provide US-based project management, licensing, quality assurance and engineering services while TVEL will provide TVS-K design expertise, engineering support and initial fabrication of LUAs. Subsequent LUAs are planned to be produced at GNF-A's facility in Wilmington, North Carolina.

TVS-K is a 17x17-lattice PWR nuclear fuel assembly developed by TVEL for use in Westinghouse-designed 3- and 4-loop PWRs, drawing on TVEL's experience in the development, manufacture and operation of nuclear fuel for Russian-designed VVER-1000 reactors.

GNF, a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi and Toshiba Corporation, operates primarily through GNF-A in Wilmington and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co in Kurihama, Japan. Its is primarily known as a supplier of boiling water reactor fuel. The alliance agreement expands on GEH's recent entry into the PWR services market - the company last year supported its first PWR services outage, in partnership with Exelon Generation, at the Ginna nuclear power plant in New York State.

Lance Hall, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy executive vice president, nuclear fuels and services, said the company was in discussions with several customers regarding LUAs. "US pressurized water reactor operators are looking for additional competition and choice," he said.

TVEL's vice president for commerce and international cooperation, Oleg Grigoryev, said TVEL had used its proven engineering solutions for VVER fuel manufacturing to develop its own PWR fuel design. "This fuel is unique as its design and technology 'genetics' as well as cladding alloy differ from other alternatives. This will provide additional diversification of fuel supplies to US pressurized water reactors," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News