Russian nuclear fuel is the coolest in the world

Nuclear energy has been developing in the world for over sixty years. Naturally, in this area the scientifictechnical progress does not stand still. Modern nuclear power plants are no longer the same as their predecessors thirty years ago.

Now one of the most promising areas of development is the modernization of nuclear fuel itself. After all, the “heart” of any nuclear power plant is small “tablets” containing uranium enriched in the 235 isotope, which releases the very heat for the production of which nuclear power plants are created. These "tablets", in turn, are produced at nuclear plants that are part of the structure of the TVEL Fuel Company.

Uranium dioxide remains the fuel for nuclear power plants. During operation, it is able to retain 98% of decay products within itself, which prevents a “splash” of radiation into the external environment. For the operation of the reactor, a “clamp” is needed - a special hollow tube, inside which “tablets” are contained - a fuel rod, a fuel element, the wall of which is very thin.

At the beginning of the development of the industry, stainless steel was used to create fuel elements, but then they came to the conclusion that zirconium is even more optimal. In Russia there is one of the three enterprises in the world where zirconium is produced - Chepetsk Mechanical Plant (the city of Glazov, Udmurtia), which is also part of the TVEL Fuel Company. The fuel rods produced in Russia are among the best in the world, since they fully comply with stringent international requirements.

A very important role in the formation of nuclear fuel is played by the formation of fuel assemblies - fuel assemblies. The Rostov NPP underwent a pilot test of the UTVS - Advanced Fuel Assembly developed by the Hydropress experimental design bureau in Podolsk. Customers from other countries were very pleased with the development results. After all, UTVS can be used at such complex facilities as nuclear power plants with increased requirements for seismic stability. Among these facilities are the Iranian Bushehr NPP, the Indian Kudankulam NPP and the Chinese Tianwan NPP.

It was the success of Russian nuclear scientists that led our country to the fact that today many foreign states are turning to Russia for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. For example, since 2014, negotiations have been ongoing with Iran to ensure the transition of the Bushehr NPP to new fuel cartridges - TVS-2M, and the negotiations resulted in the signing in April 2018 of deliveries of TVS-2020M to Iran from 2. It is possible that in the very near future, similar negotiations may begin with representatives of Chinese and Indian energy companies, which also need new Russian nuclear technologies.

And it should be noted that in Russia, ongoing work is ongoing to further improve nuclear fuel. It is not visible to the prying eye, it is rarely reported by the media, but TVEL's design bureaus are developing a number of interesting ideas and projects that are of interest not only in Iran, India and China, but also in the USA and Western Europe.
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