11 Nov 2009 19:37

Rosatom to set up fuel company on TVEL

TOMSK. Nov 11 (Interfax) - The Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom will set up a unified fuel company on the basis of the nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL by consolidating four enrichment plants and two companies manufacturing enrichment centrifuges, Vladimir Korotkevich, the director of the Siberian Chemical Combine told journalists in Tomsk.

"We will join the Fuel Company within the next year," he said.

Rosatom acting chief Ivan Kamenskikh signed a directive on setting up the Fuel Company on October 29.

"It will be established on the basis of the TVEL enterprises," Korotkevich said. "Our division and sublimation Combines - all four of them - plus two other plants manufacturing gas centrifuges will be incorporated into the Fuel Company's structure," he said.

Korotkevich said he expected the decision on merging Rosatom's fuel assets to be endorsed in November 2009. "I must say a very nonstandard decision that I did not expect has been made. It is likely to be formalized throughout November," he said.

Atomenergoprom told Interfax that before the end of the year TVEL will draft the concept of developing the Fuel Company and submit it for approval to Rosatom and to Atomenergoprom.

The full list of assets transferred to the Fuel Company includes RSK (consolidating 100% in the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Combine, the Electrochemical Plant, the Urals Electrolysis Chemical Combine and the Siberian Chemical Combine) and 100% in the Russian Gas Centrifuge engineering center (comprises Vladimir-based Tochmash, the Kovrov Mechanical Plant, the PKB-Nizhny Novgorod designing bureau, Tsentrotekh-SPb company, the Novouralsk Research and Design Center, the Novouralsk Instrument Plant and the Urals Gas Centrifuge Plant).

All due corporate procedures required for the establishment of the Fuel Company are planned to be carried out in 2010.

Russia possesses about half of the world's uranium enrichment facilities. According to expert estimates, enrichment accounts for about 40% of the cost of fuel assemblies manufactured by TVEL, another 40% to 50% falls on natural uranium (Rosatom has concentrated uranium extraction on the basis of the Atomredmetzoloto holding) and only 10% to 15% on the production of fuel, which is TVEL's specialization.

TVEL is completely owned by Atomenergoprom, a world leading producer and supplier of nuclear fuel for commercial and research reactors, with its share on the global market reaching 17%. TVEL's key assets are the Machine Building Plant (Elemash) and the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant.