Rosatom eyes supplying nuclear fuel for China’s new fast neutron reactor

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© Yevgeny Kurskov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Rosatom plans to produce and supply nuclear fuel for the construction of the Chinese CFR-600 fast-neutron reactor, the press service Rosatom fuel company Tvel reported on Thursday.

“TVEL JSC and Chinese company CNLY (a part of CNNC corporation) have signed the contract for supply of nuclear fuel for CFR-600 fast-neutron reactor which is currently under construction. The contract covers the initial loading of nuclear fuel, as well as supplies for refueling during the first seven years of the reactor operation,” the report said.

According to the report, new manufacturing line for the CFR-600 fuel assemblies is planned at the Machine-building Plant (MSZ JSC, the production facility of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal, Moscow region). The Chinese side addressed Rosatom State Corporation with a request for production of the CFR-600 fuel assemblies, considering its almost 40 years long experience of nuclear fuel manufacturing for the Russian fast-neutron reactors.

“TVEL Fuel Company, as one of the core units of Rosatom State Corporation, is committed to all-encompassing cooperation with the Chinese partners in the field of fast-neutron reactors and closing of nuclear fuel cycle. In addition to our long-time experience with uranium-based fuel manufacturing for commercial fast-neutron reactors, in 2018, Rosatom has launched batch production of uranium-and-plutonium MOX fuel for the BN-800 reactor. Our Chinese portfolio also includes the contract for supply of uranium-based fuel for the China Experimental Fast Reactor CEFR, with fuel deliveries already taking place,” President of Tvel Natalia Nikipelova commented on the signing.

Rosatom Overseas JSC coordinates negotiating the whole package of agreements on cooperation in the nuclear industry between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, the report said. “Given that this project is a demonstration type, Russian engineers will come up with, in fact, a new kind of nuclear fuel based on the Chinese design. In this regard, our team had to draw up the whole contract from the scratch taking into account all the peculiarities of the project. The negotiations with the Chinese partners have been ongoing since June 2018. Thanks to the high professionalism of Rosatom’s united team and positive approach of the Chinese partners, the contract has been agreed upon in a record-breaking time,” President of Rusatom Overseas Evgeny Pakermanov noted.

The CFR-600 fuel contract has been signed as a part of the agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the joint construction and operation of the demonstration fast reactor in China. It is a part of a large-scale program of bilateral cooperation in nuclear industry for the decades ahead.

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