The first batch of nuclear fuel for the replacement station under construction was delivered to the site of the operating Kursk NPP

The first fuel assembly (FA) will be loaded into the reactor of the first power unit of KuNPP-2 this year, thereby marking the physical start-up.

The delivery of nuclear fuel is a significant event for the nuclear power plant under construction and the most important stage of preparation for the physical start-up. Three transport packaging sets with the first six fuel assemblies were delivered for power unit No. 1 of Kursk NPP-2. Delivery was performed by specialized railway transport.

“The delivery of fuel symbolizes that the PWR-TOI project has reached key stages of construction and shows a high degree of readiness of the first power unit for further start-up operations. In the near future, we plan to begin cold-hot run-in of the reactor plant - this is the last major technological operation at the power unit, preceding the physical start-up stage. During it, we will confirm the operability of the main and auxiliary equipment and systems of the reactor plant already at operating parameters,” commented Alexander Uvakin, director of the Kursk NPP.

The manufacturer of the initial load of nuclear fuel for the first power unit of Kursk NPP-2 is the Machine-Building Plant (JSC MSZ), an enterprise of the Rosatom Fuel Division in Elektrostal, Moscow Region. The first batch of six fuel assemblies was accepted by the industry commission chaired by an employee of Rosenergoatom JSC with the participation of representatives of Rostechnadzor.

TVS PWR TOI is an innovative type of nuclear fuel developed on the basis of the designs of TVS-2M (fuel for PWR-1000) and TVS-2006 (fuel for PWR-1200 reactors). Inheriting the high reliability of TVS-2M and TVS-2006, the design of fuel cassettes for PWR TOI provides increased fuel loading, increased thermal reliability and more effective control of the reactor core during operation to improve the technical and economic characteristics of the nuclear power plant.

In total, the PWR-TOI project provides for 163 fuel assemblies, with 313 fuel elements in each fuel assembly. After receiving a license to operate power unit No. 1, the entire first fuel load will be moved by specialized transport to the fresh fuel storage building of Kursk NPP-2 to perform the fuel incoming inspection procedure, form transport cases and send them to the reactor compartment.

The fuel cycle during operation is 18 months. Replacement of spent fuel assemblies with “fresh” ones will be performed in a shutdown and depressurized reactor under a layer of water using a remote-controlled reloading machine.

For reference: 
The Kursk NPP-2 is a replacement station that includes 2 units with a capacity of 1255 MW each. The construction of power units No. 1 and No. 2 of the replacement station Kursk NPP-2 is carried out within the framework of the Federal project “Design and construction of reference power units of nuclear power plants” of the Comprehensive program “Development of equip-ment, technologies and scientific research in the sphere of use of atomic energy in the Russian Federation for the period until 2024. 

The Russian nuclear industry has transformed from a piece manufacturer into a conveyor of nu-clear technologies, a “reactor factory,” which allows Russia to occupy a leading position in the world in the export of nuclear technologies. Today, the share of power generated by nuclear power plants in Russia’s energy balance is about 20%, and by 2045 it should reach 25%. This in-struction was given to the State Corporation Rosatom by the President of Russia.  

The fuel and energy complex has been and remains one of the most important components of the Russian economy, influencing the development of other industries. The President and Government of the Russian Federation set goals for its development in order to strengthen the country’s production and technological potential and improve the quality of life of Russian citizens. Rosatom and its enterprises take an active part in this work.

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