Accident Tolerant Fuel Will Be Commercialized in 2019

On March 26, Natalia Nikipelova, who was appointed as president of TVEL JSC (Rosatom’s nuclear fuel cycle subsidiary)in 2017, presented company’s annual financial results for 2017 and outlined the key strategic development directions. According to her, TVEL competitiveness is based on three factors. First, company delivers high-quality products. Second, it constantly offers the customers with the new types of fuel with regard to their individual demand. Finally, according to TVEL president, the company stands out from the competitors for its attractive pricing based on the fuel’s sharp net costs.

The above mentioned factors allow the company to feel confident on the international market. “Our foreign partners acknowledge impact of the political environment, but, despite that, our consumers can clearly explain to their governments and regulatory bodies why they purchase Rosatom’s fuel”, said Natalia Nikipelova.

“We received more than 40 billion rubles in net income. Our revenue objective was 178 billion rubles, and in fact it amounted more than 180 billion”, TVEL JSC president said, commenting fuel company’s performance.

One of the company’s key activity area that offers it an advantage on the world scene is the R&D sector extension. “About 5% of TVEL’s revenue is allocated to R&D. We do not spend this money for nothing — that’s the investment in our future”, noted Natalia Nikipelova. “TVEL is being actively engaged in the development of new nuclear fuels. One of them is the accident tolerant fuel. In addition, it is more efficient, as it will allow an increase of the duration of the fuel campaign”, she added. According to the president of the fuel company, TVEL’s progress in the current developments is much higher than that of competitors, and this new fuel type is planned to be brought to the market in 2019.

One of the examples of the TVEL’s effectiveness in developing new breakthrough types of fuel assemblies is the “TVS-Kvadrat” (FA-Square) project for Western PWR-type reactors. Since 2014, such assemblies have been in pilot operation at Ringhals 3 NPP in Sweden. The commercial delivery of nuclear fuel reloads to this plant will begin in 2021 . The agreement on pilot operation has also been reached with the United States.

“Our Swedish partners are very satisfied with this fuel, they have been using it for more than three years, and no issues have been reported. The experience of operating the “TVS-Kvadrat” in Sweden has become very significant for us, and I think that the example of our Swedish colleagues has spurred interest of the consortium of American energy companies in the fuel. Now we have a very good partner in the US-General Electric, which is a great help. We work in full mutual understanding with each other,” Natalia Nikipelova stressed.

The demand for TVEL’s offer for nuclear newcomers is underlined by the contracts concluded at the end of December 2017 for the supply of nuclear fuel to the nuclear power plants being built in Egypt and Belarus . According to Natalia Nikipelova, Rosatom in this case offers a comprehensive service, which includes not only the construction of nuclear power plants, but also services, personnel training, and nuclear fuel supplies, that significantly reduces transaction costs for the consumer country.

Source: TVEL Fuel Company
Date: Mar 28, 2018