Rostekhnadzor has approved pilot production of the Novovoronezh NPP 6th power unit in an 18-months’ fuel cycle

Rostekhnadzor (the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision) has issued a license to the Novovoronezh NPP for the pilot production of the Novovoronezh NPP 6th power unit with a VVER-1200 reactor in the extended fuel cycle mode of 18 months. 

Previously, the Novovoronezh NPP 6th power unit operated on a 12-months’ fuel cycle, with the nuclear fuel re-load taking place every 12 months.

Following a thorough review of the documentation verifying that the transition to the new fuel cycle is secure, Rostekhnadzor approved the changes to the operating license for the power unit’s nuclear facility.

As of now, the fresh fuel produced by the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP; a part of the Rosatom Fuel Company ‘TVEL’) specifically for the first run of the 18-months’ fuel cycle, has been successfully loaded into the reactor facility.

The power unit will run strictly in accordance with the ‘Roadmap for the pilot production of the Novovoronezh NPP 6th power unit with the extended maintenance period of over 12 months’.

‘The introduction of the new fuel cycle will dramatically reduce the total duration of the power unit maintenance, increase the coefficient of using the capability of generating unit, and facilitate increased electric power output. We are to work a lot with the new types of nuclear fuel and control its safe operation’, Evgeniy Golubev, the head of the nuclear safety and reliability department at the Novovoronezh NPP, said.

The Novovoronezh NPP 6th power unit pilot production stage will run for around three years. Following that, a decision is to be made on the conclusive transition to the 18-months’ fuel cycle. A similar process is planned for the Novovoronezh NPP 7th power unit.

‘The Novovoronezh NPP 6th power unit, the first 3+ generation power block in the world, lays the ground for further advancement of VVER-1200 power units. The introduction of the 18-months’ fuel cycle at the Novovoronezh NPP will help us take advantage of this experience when working on similar power units both in Russia and in other countries’, Vladimir Povarov, the director of the Novovoronezh NPP, said.

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