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Belarusian nuclear power plant gets nuclear fuel for first refueling

An archive photo

MINSK, 18 June (BelTA) – The incoming inspection of the fresh nuclear fuel Russia has delivered for the first scheduled refueling of the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has been finished. Before the fuel rod arrays have to be inserted into the reactor, all of them will be stored in the fresh nuclear fuel storage facility, the press service of the Russian state nuclear industry corporation Rosatom told BelTA.

It is the first batch of fuel made for the Belarusian nuclear power plant by MSZ Machinery Manufacturing Plant based in Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia. The enterprise is part of Rosatom's TVEL Fuel Company. The fuel meant to start both units of the Belarusian nuclear power plant was made by Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP).

TVEL Fuel Company Senior Vice President for Production Mikhail Zarubin said: “Both fabrication plants of the company have mastered the production of fuel for VVER-1200 reactors. It allows us to be flexible with fabrication plans and improves the reliability of fuel supply for these power-generating units. At present five VVER-1200 units are in commission and their number will grow as Rosatom implements more and more overseas projects.”

The design strategy for using fuel in VVER-1200 reactors of the Belarusian nuclear power plant envisages a four-year fuel cycle with one refueling every 12 months during a scheduled preventive maintenance. The initial fuel charge and the first refueling of every unit is part of the general contract on building the Belarusian nuclear power plant (Rosatom's engineering division ASE is the supplier). Shipments of fresh fuel via a direct contract between TVEL Fuel Company and the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant will begin in 2022.

The incoming inspection of the initial fuel charge for the second unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant was successfully finished in spring 2021. The fuel was made by Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant.

MSZ Machinery Manufacturing Plant is one of the world's largest manufacturers of fuel for nuclear power plants. The enterprise makes nuclear fuel assemblies for VVER-440, VVER-1000, RBMK-1000, BN-600, 800, VK-50, EGP-6 reactors as well as powder and fuel pellets for foreign customers. The enterprise also makes nuclear fuel for research reactors. MSZ Machinery Manufacturing Plant is part of TVEL Fuel Company of the Russian state corporation Rosatom.

TVEL Fuel Company comprises enterprises that fabricate nuclear fuel, take care of uranium conversion and enrichment, and make gas centrifuges as well as R&D and design organizations. TVEL Fuel Company is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants. It provides fuel to a total of 75 power-producing reactors in 15 countries, research reactors in nine countries, and transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power-producing reactor in the world uses fuel made by TVEL Fuel Company. Rosatom's fuel division is the world's largest producer of enriched uranium.