Moscow: The first batch of nuclear fuel assemblies with mix uranium and plutonium MOX fuel for fast neutron reactor has been tested successfully, Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom said on Monday. The equipment suppliers and consultants for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu, Rosatom's fuel arm TVEL manufactured fuel pellets from a mixture of oxides of depleted uranium and oxides of plutonium extracted during reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, the fuel company said in a statement here.
"The start of MOX fuel production for the BN-800 fast neutron reactor is an important milestone for solving the strategic task of establishing the closed nuclear fuel cycle," it said. The MOX fuel is produced at the company's mining and chemical combine in the city of Zheleznogorsk in Russia's far eastern region of Siberia. "Involvement of the large stock of depleted uranium and bred plutonium into the fuel cycle would enable expansion of the resource base of the nuclear power industry and reduction of natural uranium consumption," TVEL Senior Vice President Konstantin Vergazov said in a statement.
"Fast neutron reactors fuelled by mixed oxides of uranium and plutonium would breed enough plutonium for own needs and producing a certain amount of fuel for other reactors," the statement said. "Recycling of spent nuclear fuel and fabrication of new bundles with the uranium-and-plutonium mixture is estimated to ramp up approximately hundred-fold the volume of electric power which could be potentially generated using natural uranium resources," it said. TVEL supplies nuclear fuel for 72 power reactors in 14 countries, including the KNPP, the statement added.