Westinghouse Electric Company and its eight European consortium partners today announced the successful completion of an EU funded project targeted at diversifying the nuclear fuel supply to VVER-440 reactors in Europe.
The consortium has developed a conceptual fuel design and determined how the manufacturing and supply chain can be reestablished to build and ship VVER-440 fuel assemblies, similar to what was done by Westinghouse and ENUSA for the Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant in Finland in 2001-2007. In addition to the fuel design, the consortium has set up and verified the associated methods and methodology to be applied for the licensing and use of a new fuel design.
“This project has prepared us very well for manufacturing and delivery of VVER-440 fuel to European utilities, and thereby created a viable alternative to today´s single source of fuel supply,” said Aziz Dag, Westinghouse vice president and managing director, Northern Europe. “Many of the countries in Eastern Europe rely heavily on nuclear energy, and strengthening their energy security is therefore strategically very important.”
Westinghouse has been leading the project known as European Supply of Safe Nuclear Fuel (ESSANUF) since September 2015. Its partners include VUJE, ÚJV Řež, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), NucleoCon, National Science Center Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology (NSC KIPT), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Karlsruhe (JRC-Karlsruhe) and ENUSA Industrias Avanzadas (ENUSA). The program is funded by the European Union’s (EU’s) Euratom Research and Training Programme (2014-2018) which forms part of Horizon 2020 (H2020), the EU’s Research and Innovation program (Grant Agreement 671546).
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Presumably Westinghouse did this building off of their experience in Ukraine which was funded by the US Government.
Just like when Westinghouse wanted to get into BWR fuel supply and GE/Hitachi wanted to get into PWR fuel supply. It's a no-growth market (in North America) so they both spent a lot of money to swap customers.