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Kudankulam reactors to get new type of nuclear fuel

Thursday, 10 Dec 2020
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The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Units-1 and- 2 will get a new type of nuclear fuel which is more reliable and cost-effective and their fuel cycle will be elongated from 12 to 18 months. 
TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) have entered an agreement to supply fuel contract, aimed at implementation of a comprehensive engineering project, including introduction of the new TVS-2M nuclear fuel and elongation of the fuel cycle from 12 to 18 months for both operating VVER-1000. 
The Kudankulam Units -1 and -2 reactors, both of 1,000 MW each, have already been commissioned while Units 3 to 6 are at different stages of construction.
As compared to the UTVS fuel model, which is currently supplied to the Kudankulam plant, TVS-2M fuel assemblies have various advantages making them more reliable and cost-effective. 
First, it is the rigidity of a bundle because of which the welded frame, the fuel assemblies in the reactor core retain their geometry, the spacer grids protect fuel rod cladding from fretting wear (preventing from de-pressurisation), and the additional spacer grid makes fuel assemblies more vibration-resistant. 
Secondly, the new fuel has increased uranium capacity -- one TVS-2M assembly contains 7.6 percent more fuel material as compared to UTVS. 
The efficiency is achieved due to the increased uranium content in a fuel bundle, reducing the amount of spent nuclear fuel and increasing duration of the fuel campaign from three to four-and-a-half years.
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