TVEL, Framatome ask the German regulator’s permission to set up a JV to make nuclear fuel


TVEL Fuel Company, which is part of State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, and France’s Framatome SAS have applied to the German Federal Cartel Office for authorization to establish a joint venture for producing nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants. According to PRIME, the report has been posted on the official website of the authority.


No additional details are provided.


TVEL manages, among other things, nuclear fuel manufacturers. TVEL supplies nuclear fuel to 73 power reactors in 13 countries. One in six power reactors in the world runs on fuel made by TVEL.


Framatome produces fuel for PWRs (pressurized water reactors) and BWRs (boiling water reactors). Framatome accounts for up to 20% of the global market for nuclear fuel production. Most of its sales are in Western Europe.


In cooperation with Framatome, ROSATOM supplies fuel and reprocessed uranium components to Western European nuclear power plants. Frédéric Lelièvre, Framatome’s Senior Executive Vice President in charge of sales, was quoted last year as saying that the French company was developing nuclear fuel that could be used in Soviet- or Russian-design reactors.


In recent years, TVEL and Framatome, along with other major players on the global nuclear fuel market, have made significant efforts to develop so-called accident tolerant nuclear fuel, believed to help prevent Fukushima-type accidents. In February, Framatome was reported to have completed, with the support of the US Department of Energy, the world’s first full test cycle of accident tolerant fuel.


According to earlier reports, TVEL is developing accident tolerant fuel not only for Russian VVER reactors but also for PWRs. The company is working on an order for BWRs as well, TVEL President Natalia Nikipelova told at the International Forum Atomexpo 2018 in Sochi in May 2018.

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