The implementation of Westinghouse fuel at Unit 5 remains a top priority for the Nuclear Safety Department (NSD) for 2020. This work is considered the most significant. The trial fuel operation is underway.
“At ZNPP, the trial operation of Westinghouse fuel is underway, and we are near its completion. Last year, the Unit 5 core was fully formed with the WR fuel assemblies. At Units 1,3 and 4, the operation of mixed zones is continued, some of them have the RWFAs, and a part of them - TVS-A fuel assemblies. The NSD functions in this process are to ensure the safety of nuclear fuel throughout the entire cycle of nuclear fuel management at the plant. We carry out the inspection test, relocate the fuel assemblies to the power units and load them into the core," - says Dmitry Kasyanenko, NSD Head.
Commissioning of Westinghouse fuel requires a long-lasting preparation, accompanied by serious justifications, development of appropriate documentation, etc.. The process involves the fuel cladding failure detection, core refueling, inspection, fuel acceptance, etc..
The fuel has been complemented by inspection using a special Westinghouse work bench.
Commissioning of Westinghouse fuel at Unit 5 is scheduled for the 2021 outage period. ZNPP Units 1, 3 and 4 will be gradually switched to the RWFA in 2021-22.
As yearly as in 2000, the Ukrainian-American Intergovernmental Agreement was signed, under which the implementation of the project for the qualification of nuclear fuel for Ukraine started. In 2005, 6 trial (pilot) fuel assemblies manufactured by Westinghouse (WFAs) were loaded for the first time into the core of SUNPP Unit 3.
In 2010, 42 Westinghouse assemblies were additionally loaded. During the transition from the qualification project to the commercial supply of nuclear fuel from an alternative supplier, Contract No. 1 was signed between SE "NNEGC "Energoatom" and Westinghouse Electric Sweden, which provided for the supply of nuclear fuel for three domestic power units annually for the period of four years.
For its operation Units 2 and 3 of the South Ukrainian NPP, as well as Unit 5 of Zaporizhzhia NPP were selected. Within the framework of the extension of Contract No. 1 to three additional units, Westinghouse fuel was loaded at Units 4, 1 and 3 of the Zaporizhzhia NPP in 2017.