Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF-A) and TVEL Fuel Co. on May 24 announced an agreement to work together toward the licensing, marketing and fabrication of fuel for U.S. customers operating Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs).
Under the agreement, GNF-A and TVEL will form a strategic alliance to introduce lead use assemblies (LUAs) of the Russian TVS-K fuel design in the U.S. and will seek licensing approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to supply the fuel in reload quantities.
Within the alliance, GNF-A will provide U.S.-based project management, licensing, quality assurance and engineering services, while TVEL will provide TVS-K design expertise, engineering support and initial fabrication of lead use assemblies. Subsequent LUAs are planned to be produced at GNF-A’s Wilmington, North Carolina, facility.
“U.S. Pressurized Water Reactor operators are looking for additional competition and choice,” said Lance Hall, Executive Vice President, Nuclear Fuels and Services, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH). “We are in discussion with several customers regarding lead use assemblies and how this alliance will bring increased choice to the industry.”
“We are glad to have aligned with such a globally renowned company as GNF-A to promote our fuel,” said Oleg Grigoryev, Vice President, Commerce and International Cooperation, TVEL.
The TVS-K is a 17×17-lattice PWR nuclear fuel assembly developed by TVEL for operation in Westinghouse-designed 3- and 4-loop PWRs. There are currently 35 of these reactors operating in the U.S. The TVS-K design has a proven track record and many years of experience in development, manufacturing and operation of nuclear fuel in VVER-1000 reactors. TVEL supplies nuclear fuel to 78 power reactors in 15 countries, research reactors in nine countries and nuclear-powered ships.
“Being one of the leaders in the world nuclear fuel market, TVEL Fuel Company used its wide range of proven engineering solutions for VVER fuel manufacturing to develop its own fuel design for Pressurized Water Reactors,” Grigoryev said. “This fuel is unique as its design and technology ‘genetics’ as well as cladding alloy differ from other alternatives. This will provide additional diversification of fuel supplies to U.S. Pressurized Water Reactors.”
The alliance agreement expands on GEH’s recent entry into the PWR services market. Last fall, GEH successfully supported its first PWR services outage, in partnership with Exelon Generation, at the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in New York. The outage was completed under budget and ahead of schedule with no safety-related or human performance issues, the company said.
Global Nuclear Fuel bills itself a world-leading supplier of boiling water reactor fuel, including uranium dioxide and MOX fuel and fuel-related engineering services. GNF is a General Electric-led joint venture with Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. and operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas LLC in Wilmington, N.C., and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan.
TVEL Fuel – the nuclear fuel company of Rosatom – develops, manufactures and supplies nuclear fuel that meets the most stringent international reliability and safety requirements to both Russian and foreign nuclear power plants as well as research reactors and marine nuclear steam generating plants.
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry.