Rivne NPP received Westinghouse nuclear fuel for its VVER-440 reactors. 42 fuel cassettes are currently being inspected by RNPP specialists with the participation of representatives of Westinghouse and the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology.
According to Vitaliy Shumyk, head of the RNPP nuclear safety department, this process involves unpacking ISO containers, checking the geometric dimensions of cassettes and the height of the fuel assemblies, inspecting bottom nozzles and heads of cassettes and inspecting them for mechanical damage and foreign objects, as wells as moving to fuel storage baskets.
These fuel assemblies are planned to be loaded into the reactor of the 3rd RNPP power unit during the planned and preventive repairs in 2020.
“They will be operated throughout the fuel cycle. That is, every year fresh fuel TVZ-WR will replenish the core of the reactor of power unit 3. Thus, in four years, the entire core of the reactor will be filled with Westinghouse fuel,” explains Dmytro Galkin, the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Deputy Chief Engineer of RNPP. “Therefore, from 2025, the RNPP Unit 3 will operate entirely on American nuclear fuel.”
It will be recalled that within the Nuclear Fuel Diversification Program for VVER-1000 reactors, 6 out of 15 Ukrainian nuclear reactors operate on Westinghouse fuel: Units 2 and 3 of the South Ukrainian NPP and 4 power units of Zaporizhzhia NPP.