Russia plans to set up N-fuel fabrication plant in India

Russia plans to set up N-fuel fabrication plant in India

Mumbai: The Russian nuclear fuel major TVEL is in discussions with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to set up a state-of-the-art nuclear fuel fabrication plant to fuel its upcoming and proposed plants in India.

The Russian government-owned company will be setting up eight to ten plants at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and Haripur in West Bengal over the next two decades under the Indo-Russian civil nuclear agreement, and the proposed fabrication plant will be supplying fuel to these plants, TVEL executive director for communications and public affairs Ivan Dybov said.

The site for the proposed nuclear fuel fabrication plant will be decided only after the discussions with the DAE are concluded, he added.

TVEL is planning to set up the fabrication plant in the country to bring down cost considerably, Dybov said. The Russian major will be setting up at least 8-10 VVER-1000 type reactors at Kudankulam and Haripur under the agreement.

“In this regard, Russia has offered a proposal and gave a detailed plan to the government of India last year," Dybov said adding the discussions in this regard are on.

TVEL, which holds 17% of the world’s nuclear fuel market, already has a contract with the DAE to supply 2000 mt fuel to the country’s pressurized heavy water reactors over the next five years. The company already supplies to the two units of US-built Tarapur atomic plant as the US stopped supplying fuel after the Pokhran-I nuke tests.

Two VVER-1000-type power plants of 1,000 mw each are under advanced stages of construction at Kudankulam and soon the TVEL-supplied fuel will be loaded as part of their commissioning process, Dybov said.

TVEL is part of the Russian government-owned Rosatom. Although, the company has been supplying fuel to India for the last 10 years, this is the first time it has come out to address the media.

Dybov said TVEL has an understanding with the French nuclear major Areva for fuel fabrication and already fabricated 2,000 fuel bundles for them.

Asked whether the proposed fuel fabrication plant will also cater the Areva plants to be built in the near future in the country, he said it could be possible as TVEL is already fabricating fuel for several Western-type of nuclear reactors of this French major.