Westinghouse Organizes VVER Fuel Forum with Customers

Westinghouse organized the 5th annual VVER Fuel Forum in Bratislava with representatives from six utilities. The forum, hosted by Slovenské elektrárne, provided the opportunity to share experiences and best practices with VVER-1000 and VVER-440 fuel deployment in operating reactors.

Westinghouse offered detailed briefings on fuel licensing, NOVA E-6 design enhancements, fabrication plant upgrades, delivery and operations.

As the leader of the European Union-funded APIS project (Accelerated Program for Implementation of secure VVER fuel Supply), Westinghouse also presented additional information on next-generation fuel design development and a harmonized approach for VVER fuel licensing.

“We are pleased to host so many colleagues in Bratislava to discuss the critical topic of fuel diversification,” said Branislav Strýček, Chairman of the Board of the Board of Directors and General Director of Slovenské elektrárne. “We are currently going through the preparation of the documentation in Slovakia for new VVER-440 fuel and expect to finish the licensing process by 2026-2027. We are looking forward to achieving diversification of fuel sources as we expand the lifetime operations of our nuclear plants.”

“In Ukraine, we started the licensing process for the Westinghouse VVER-440 fuel in 2022 and, thanks to great cooperation, we successfully completed it within 1.5 years. We received the first fuel load for Rivne unit 2 last September, ahead of the originally planned schedule. Our two units will be operating later this year with the new fuel, which has been performing well after six months,” said Olexandr Depenchuk, Director for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Energoatom. “The joint efforts of Energoatom and Westinghouse have enabled us to end our dependence on Russian fuel.”

“We recommend expediting the ongoing fuel diversification efforts in the context of the REPowerEU Plan launched in May 2022 and the global energy disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Stefano Ciccarello, Acting Director General of the Euratom Supply Agency.

In Finland, Fortum is pursuing mechanical operating experiences with the new fuel type, after a test assembly manufactured by Westinghouse was loaded into the Loviisa-2 reactor last year. “The changes done in the design of the VVER-440 fuel we originally used in Loviisa in the early 2000s improved the fuel behavior and performance. We are currently reviewing the licensing and manufacturing documentation of the first new fuel deliveries and expect this work to be ready this summer,” said Iiro-Ville Lehtinen, Fortum Project Manager.

“Westinghouse will deliver the first batch of VVER-440 fuel assemblies to the Dukovany nuclear power plant at the end of this year. The deliveries for Temelín will follow a few months after Dukovany, as mutually agreed based on the refueling schedule,” said Rostislav Štaubr, Head of Nuclear Fuel Procurement of CEZ.

“We really appreciate our collaboration with Westinghouse,” said Svilena Nikolova, Head of Legal and Commercial Department of Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant. “The diversification that has been obtained in terms of nuclear fuel supply is of great importance for the power plant. As Kozloduy celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we will also receive the first load of new VVER-1000 fuel from Westinghouse for our unit 5.”

“We are delighted to share the achievements of this key program to ensure energy security and supply diversification for our customers in the region,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel. “There were many great achievements in the past years and still a lot of work ahead of us. As the only European VVER fuel manufacturer, we are committed to delivering what is required by our customers.”

Westinghouse is a leading supplier of nuclear fuel, providing a uniquely diversified portfolio in the industry across nuclear reactor types, including PWR, BWR, AGR and VVER. Through our world-class manufacturing facilities in Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S., we focus on delivering innovative fuel technologies to meet our customers’ needs for lower fuel cycle costs, increased operational flexibility and efficiency, diversity of supply and accident-tolerant products. Learn more about our advanced fuel capabilities and how they relate to different reactors around the world: Westinghouse Nuclear > Nuclear Fuel.

Westinghouse Electric Company is shaping the future of carbon-free energy by providing safe, innovative nuclear technologies to utilities globally. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first commercial pressurized water reactor in 1957 and the company’s technology is the basis for nearly one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants. Over 135 years of innovation make Westinghouse the preferred partner for advanced technologies covering the complete nuclear energy life cycle. For more information, visit www.westinghousenuclear.com and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and X.

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