Russia supplies richer nuclear fuel to Paks until 2034


Russian nuclear fuel producer TVEL  is expected to continue supplying nuclear fuel to Hungary's sole nuclear power plant located in Paks until December 31, 2034, after Hungary’s agency for nuclear power issued a license to prolong operations of the nuclear plant’s second unit, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.

As of next year, the plant’s units using 4.2% enriched nuclear fuel are schedulte to be gradually switched to 4.7% enriched nuclear fuel, which is expected to increase the fuel cycle of the units from 12 to 15 months. The switch to more enriched nuclear fuel will also help increase power output and reduce the cost of planned repairs of the units, TVEL said.

TVEL, which is part of nuclear power corporation Rosatom, has been the supplier of nuclear fuel to the Paks plant since 1999, and the contract is valid for the entire service lifetime of the Paks plant, extended until 2037, TVEL said in October. Fuel sales in 2013 amounted to approximately €83 mln.

Hungary’s National Atomic Energy Office (OAH) issued a license to extend the lifespan of the number 2 block of the Paks nuclear plant by 20 years until December 31, 2034, the energy office said on its website on November 25.

A bill submitted to parliament by the government on Monday clarifies that contracts related to the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant will not fall under the public procurement law, MTI reported on December 1.

Hungary signed an intergovernmental agreement with Russia on the construction of two new blocks at Paks in January 2014. Russia is to provide 10 bln in long-term credit for the investment. The new blocks are scheduled to start operation in 2025. 

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