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Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) receives first batch of imported Nuclear Fuel from AREVA NC, France

Hyderabad|India|April'2009: Consequent to Indo-US nuclear deal, 123 agreement and clearance by Nuclear Suppliers Group to enable full civil nuclear cooperation, India and France entered into an agreement for bilateral cooperation for supplying Reactors and Fuel. As a first step, DAE has entered into a contract with French nuclear supplier AREVA NC for supply of 300 Tons of Uranium ore Concentrate. As part of this Contract, today NFC has received 60 Tons of Uranium.

Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), established in the year 1971 is a major industrial unit of Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. The Complex is responsible for the supply of nuclear fuel bundles and reactor core components for all the nuclear power reactors operating in India. It is a unique facility where natural and enriched uranium fuel, zirconium alloy cladding and reactor core components are manufactured under one roof starting from the raw materials. Presently NFC is supplying nuclear fuel for all the 15 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and 2 Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs).

The material so received from AREVA NC will be processed in the designated fuel plants at Nuclear Fuel Complex. The Uranium ore Concentrate is converted into nuclear grade uranium dioxide powder, which is then compacted in the form of cylindrical pellets and sintered at high temperature to get high density uranium dioxide pellets. The cylindrical UO2 pellets are stacked and encapsulated in thin walled tubes of zirconium alloy, both ends of which are sealed by resistance welding using zircaloy end plugs. 19 such fuel pins are assembled to form a fuel bundle for PHWR 220 MWe. The bundles so produced will be loaded in the Safeguarded PHWRs.

One such fuel bundle containing about 15 kg of uranium-di-oxide can generated about 6,40,000 Units of Power.

India is one of the fastest developing economies and requires huge addition in power generation to meet the ever growing demand. Nuclear Energy, being a reliable source of sustainable and non-polluting energy, it could make a significant contribution in meeting India’s energy security, sustainable development and limiting climate change. By 2030, the country's installed nuclear capacity could grow to 63 GWe.

Nuclear Fuel Complex caters to the Fuel and Zirconium requirements of the Nuclear Power Program in India

Reachout's News Bureau
 April' 2009

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