Energoatom pilots a reload of reactor with Westinghouse’s nuclear fuel
The NNEC Energoatom piloted a full reload of reactor with nuclear fuel from Westinghouse, an American-Japanese alternative manufacturer of nuclear fuels to match the Russia-based TVEL’s products. The reload was held at the South Ukraine NPP’s power unit №3, as jointly reported by the Energoatom’s President Yuriy Nedashkovsky and Vice President and Managing Director for North Europe of Westinghouse Aziz Dagh.
“The milestone of the event is that, for the first time in Ukraine, the newly retrofitted power unit №3 was connected to the national grid, whilst its reactor is operating the 163 fuel rod assemble by Westinghouse”, said Mr. Nedashkovsky, while adding, that after the end of the upcoming nationwide heating season, the piloted project will turn into large-scale operation of the reactor as fully reloaded with Westinghouse’s fuel assemblies.
“The full reload of the power unit with fuel from Westinghouse and its operation at 100% of output to the national power grid- all that proves the reliability of the fuel assemble. We are anxious about opportunities for reloads at other NP units”, said Mr. Aziz Dagh.
According to Mr. Nedashkovsky, the full reload with Westinghouse’s fuel of the NP unit increases its output capacity by 7%-10% .
“We have started this work [to increase output of the NP unit-Ed.] as a pilot project on power unit №3 of the South Ukraine NPP. The fact is that the active zone of the reactor is reloaded with the Westinghouse’s fuel, and this enables us to raise the capacity of this power unit. The Westinghouse’s fuel provides opportunity to raise output of the reactor by 7 %, or even by 10%, e.i. to add extra 70 MW to 100 MW to power generation capacity. It’s true, that one needs to replace the turbine and the generator, but we have done all calculations and seen a substantial economic effect”, said the Energoatom’s President, while adding, that to further increase the capacity of the power units, they will consider ways for optimal fuel combination for every single unit (either full reload solely with fuel assemblies from Westinghouse’s Swiss production facility, or combined use of Swiss and Russian fuel rods).