The first batch of dummy fuel assemblies (DFA) was delivered to the construction site of Kursk NPP-2

The first of two batches of dummy fuel assemblies (DFAs) - an exact copy of industrial fuel assemblies - was delivered to the fresh fuel storage building at Kursk NPP-2.

The delivered batch, manufactured by the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (PJSC NCCP, an enterprise of the TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom), consists of 92 DFAs. They are used to carry out commissioning work on reactor plant equipment and transport and technological equipment. In addition to the DFAs, 51 simulators of control and neutron-absorbing rods (NARs) were delivered.

The delivery of fuel assemblies is an important step in preparation for the launch of the first power unit: they are necessary for modeling the hydraulic parameters of the reactor plant when performing tests at substage A-3 “Cold-hot running-in of reactor plant equipment.” During the run-in process, the functionality of the equipment and safety systems of the reactor facility will be checked in operating modes.

“Fuel assembly simulators were developed and manufactured specifically for PWR-TOI type reactors, taking into account modeling of the core geometry and determination of real hydraulic characteristics. Structurally, they are completely identical to fuel assemblies, but they do not contain nuclear fuel. Loading simulators into the reactor core is one of the final operations in preparation for cold storage,” commented Alexander Uvakin, director of the Kursk NPP.

Internal devices have already been installed in the reactor vessel of the first power unit, directly in which the fuel assemblies will be located, and during industrial operation there will be fuel assemblies (FA). According to the project, 163 fuel assemblies are loaded into the core, with 313 fuel elements (fuel rods) per fuel assembly. The length of one fuel assembly is 4,570 mm. The installation of the fuel assemblies into the reactor core will be carried out by a refueling machine.

“The DFAs were delivered by rail in specialized packaging kits that protected them from shocks and damage during transportation. Currently, preparations are underway for incoming inspection. The transportation operation with DFAs will allow us to work out the algorithm of actions for the transport and technological scheme for handling nuclear fuel, check the performance of the equipment and prepare personnel for the acceptance of nuclear fuel,” said Oleg, Vice-President of Atomstroyexport JSC, Director of the Kursk NPP-2 construction project Sperle.

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The Kursk NPP (Kurchatov, Kursk region) is one of the largest generating sources of electricity in the Central Russian Black Earth Region. The consumers of its electricity are 19 regions of the Center of Russia. The station includes three power units with channel reactors with a total capacity of 3 million kW. Power unit No. 1, after 45 years of service, has been in operating mode without generation since December 2021. The station's power units were connected to the country's unified energy system in 1976, 1979, 1983 and 1985. In 1994-2009, all operating power units underwent deep technical modernization. Over the years of operation, the Kursk nuclear power plant has generated over 1 trillion kWh of electricity. At the moment, the construction of power units No. 1 and No. 2 of the Kursk NPP-2 replacement station with a new type of PWR-TOI reactor is underway. Their design service life is 60 years. The capacity of each power unit increased to 1255 MW, which is 25.5% more than the power units of the existing Kursk NPP. The capacity of each power unit increased to 1255 MW, which is 25.5% more than the power units of the existing Kursk NPP.

The Russian nuclear industry has transformed from a piece manufacturer into a conveyor of nuclear technologies, a “reactor factory,” which allows Russia to occupy a leading position in the world in the export of nuclear technologies. Today, the share of power generated by nuclear power plants in Russia’s energy balance is about 20%, and by 2045 it should reach 25%. This instruction was given to the State Corporation Rosatom by the President of Russia.

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