Rosatom’s accident-tolerant fuel to make nuclear power safer

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MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Accident-tolerant nuclear fuel Rosatom specialists created in 2018 will considerably enhance the safety of nuclear power plants, the A.A. Bochvar High Technology Research Institute for Inorganic Materials (VNIINM) said in a news release on Friday.

Tolerant fuel is resistant to major nuclear power plant failures. It is to stay integral in complex breakdowns at nuclear power plants and by no means trigger zirconium-steam reaction that causes the emission of explosive hydrogen.

“The introduction of accident-tolerant nuclear fuel is of key importance to bringing the systemic security and reliability of nuclear power to a qualitatively new level,” the news release says.

Earlier, it was announced that Rosatom specialists had made experimental samples of unique accident-tolerant nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants and in the near future will load it into the research reactor MIR of the Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (an affiliate of Rosatom).

VNIINM CEO Leonid Karpyuk said the institute had coped with the task of creating accident-tolerant fuel in just one year.

“Research into this fuel has been underway around the world for a rather long time, about ten years. It was essential for us to conduct research and development works and develop uranium-molybdenum fuel and the know-how of applying protective coating to the fuel assemblies. We coped with this task successfully,” he said.

Companies’ profiles

TVEL incorporates enterprises for the manufacturing of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges and also research, development and design organizations.

It is the sole provider of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants and 72 nuclear power reactors in 14 countries around the world, research reactors in eight countries and Russian ships’ nuclear power plants.

The A.A. Bochvar High Technology Research Institute for Inorganic Materials (VNIINM) conducts research, development and design work for creating accident-tolerant fuel and is Russia’s main designer of fuel assemblies.

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