Tvel said in a statement that the new second-generation fuel is designed to optimise the hydro-uranium ratio in the reactor core, allowing for increased efficiency of fuel use and improving the economy of reactor operation.
According to the statement, all documentation has been handed over to the Hungarians for licensing of the new fuel by the national nuclear regulator
Tvel said the first fuel assemblies of the new type passed acceptance testing at the Elemash machine-building plant in Elektrostal near Moscow and the first batch of the fuel is expected to be delivered to Paks this year.
An engineering contract between Tvel and Hungarian nuclear operator MVM Paks for development of the new VVER-440 fuel was signed in late 2017, Tvel said.
The Paks nuclear station, Hungary’s only commercial nuclear facility, has four Russia-supplied VVER units with a total gross capacity of 2,000 MW in commercial operation.
In 2019 the four units provided about 49% of the country’s nuclear generation, according to International Atomic Energy Agency statistics.