18 Jun 2024 16:40

First nuclear fuel shipment is delivered to Kursk NPP-2 power unit No. 1

VORONEZH. June 18 (Interfax) - The first shipment of nuclear fuel for the currently operating Kursk NPP's replacement power plant, now under construction, was delivered to the site, the nuclear plant's press service reported.

"The first fuel assembly (FA) will be loaded into the reactor of the first power unit of Kursk NPP-2 this year, thereby marking the physical start-up," the statement says.

Three transport packaging sets containing the first six fuel assemblies were delivered to the site.

"We plan to begin a cold-hot run-in of the reactor installation in the near future; this is the last major technological operation at the power unit before the physical start-up stage. We will confirm the operability of main and auxiliary equipment and reactor installation systems which are already at operating parameters during the operation," Kursk NPP Director Alexander Uvakin said.

The manufacturer of the initial nuclear fuel load is the Machine-Building Plant (JSC MSZ), part of Rosatom's fuel division located in Elektrostal near Moscow.

"In total, the VVER-TOI project provides for 163 fuel assemblies, with 313 fuel elements in each fuel assembly. After receiving a license to operate power unit No. 1, the entire first fuel load will be moved by specialized transport to the Kursk NPP-2 fresh fuel storage building to conduct the incoming fuel inspection procedure, forming transport cases and sending them to the reactor compartment," the press release says.

The fuel cycle is 18 months during operation. Replacement of spent fuel assemblies with "fresh" ones will be conducted in a shut down and depressurized reactor under a layer of water using a remote-controlled reloading machine.

Kursk NPP-2 is a replacement station that includes two units with a capacity of 1255 MW each. The construction of power units No. 1 and No. 2 is being conducted as part of the "Design and Construction of Reference Nuclear Power Plant Power Units" federal project, which is part of the "Development of Equipment, Technologies and Scientific Research for the Use of Atomic Energy in the Russian Federation for the period through 2024" comprehensive program.