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TVS-2M Nuclear Fuel

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    World Affairs
  • Published
    13th Jun, 2022


Recently ,TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom of Russia supplied the first batches of more reliable and cost-efficient nuclear fuel over the existing one, the TVS-2M nuclear fuel, to India for the Units 1 & 2 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP).

What is TVS-2M Nuclear Fuel?

  • The TVS-2M FAs contain gadolinium-oxide which is mixed with U-235 enrichments.
  • The core does not contain BARs (Burnable Absorbers Rods).

How are they prepared?

  • Once the uranium is enriched, it is ready to be converted into nuclear fuel.
  • At a nuclear fuel fabrication facility, the UF6, in solid form, is heated to gaseous form, and then the UF6 gas is chemically processed to form uranium dioxide (UO2) powder.
  • The powder is then compressed and formed into small ceramic fuel pellets.
  • The pellets are stacked and sealed into long metal tubes that are about 1 centimetre in diameter to form fuel rods.
  • The fuel rods are then bundled together to make up a fuel assembly.
  • Depending on the reactor type, each fuel assembly has about 179 to 264 fuel rods.
  • A typical reactor core holds 121 to 193 fuel assemblies.

About the agreement

  • TVEL has fulfilled the agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) on implementation of a comprehensive engineering project, including introduction of TVS-2M nuclear fuel and elongation of the fuel cycle from 12 to 18 months for both VVER-1000 reactors.


  • The rigidity of a fuel bundle makes it more efficient and more vibration-resistant.
  • The new fuel has increased uranium capacity - one TVS-2M assembly contains 7.6% more fuel material as compared to the earlier fuel bundles.
  • In addition, the special feature of the Kudankulam fuel in particular is the new generation anti-debris filter protecting bundles from debris damage, which may be caused by small-sized objects in the reactor core.
  • Operation in larger fuel cycles also enhances economic efficiency of a plant, as reactors have to undergo stoppage and refueling less frequently, so the power units produce more electricity,”

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP)

  • Russia is building the KNPP under an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) of 1988 and follow-on agreements in 1998 and 2008. 
  • The first stage, consisting of power units No. 1 and No. 2, was commissioned in 2013 and 2017, respectively. 
  • Power units No. 3,4 and No. 5,6 are the second and third stages of KNPP which are currently under construction.

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