The facility, at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant in southwest Siberia, will enable Tvel to supply TVS-K fuel to nuclear power plants powered by Western-design PWR reactors. Tvel said in a statement that TVS-K fuel is based on Russian technical solutions which are not subject to export control restrictions of other countries.
TVS-K was originally developed by Tvel for use in Westinghouse-designed 3- and 4-loop PWRs. It draws on the Tvel’s experience in the development, manufacture and operation of nuclear fuel for Russian-designed VVER-1000 reactors.
In 2018 Tvel, a subsidiary of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said it was planning to start testing the fuel in the US. The company did not say at which nuclear plant in the US the test loading would take place.
In July 2016 Tvel signed the first contract on testing of the fuel with an unnamed US nuclear power plant operator.
Rosatom has also said the fuel has been tested at the Ringhals nuclear power station in Sweden.
In 2008, Tvel began working with Ringhals’ owner and operator Vattenfall to acquire data needed to finalise the TVS-K project. It took Tvel two years to qualify as a fuel supplier for the Swedish facility.
In 2011 Vattenfall signed a contract for Tvel to supply pilot TVS-K fuel assemblies for Ringhals.
A consortium to promote the fuel in Western markets was formed in May 2018 between Tvel, GE- Hitachi (GEH) and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF-A).
Tvel said the TVS-K fuel project is part of plans to increase Russia’s share of the global fuel fabrication market from 17% to 22% by 2030.