1 Jul (NucNet): The single-unit Borssele nuclear power station in the Netherlands has begun to use mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel elements fabricated by France’s Areva, the first such fuel used in the unit, Areva said.
Borssele-1, the only commercially operational nuclear reactor in the Netherlands, was licensed in 2013 to load eight MOX assemblies in 2014 and 12 assemblies per year thereafter, representing 40 percent of the assemblies loaded in the reactor at one time, Areva said yesterday.
The fuel was fabricated at Areva’s Melox MOX production plant using plutonium recovered from reprocessing at La Hague, Areva said. The company has reprocessed 375 metric tonnes of used fuel from Borssele over 35 years, it said.
Areva began the fabrication of MOX fuel for Borssele in November 2013. In 2008, Dutch utility EPZ, the operator of Borssele, decided to diversify its nuclear fuel supply and chose Areva for the fabrication of MOX fuel.
Areva said the Netherlands is the seventh country to use or have used MOX fuel in its nuclear reactors, along with Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the US.
Borssele, a 482-megawatt pressurised water reactor unit, began commercial operation in October 1973. Dodewaard, a 54-megawatt boiling water reactor, began commercial operation in 1969 and was permanently shut down in 1997.