Czech nuclear power plant "Temelin" completely switched to operate with the Russian nuclear fuel, producing at the end of July this year physical start of the second unit.
This seemingly unremarkable event was for the domestic nuclear industry in many ways remarkable.
Fuel company "TVEL" has strengthened its position in traditional markets in Eastern Europe in 2006 after winning a tender for the supply of fresh nuclear fuel for "Temelin". The victory was achieved with the demonstration of the technical and economic advantages of Russian products, as well as increased consumer features and performance of fuel grade fuel elements. According to the results of the tender contract was signed, according to which Russia since 2010, had gradually over several years, to replace the U.S. fuel production.
But the Czech nuclear power plant operator CEZ Group took the unprecedented decision in the nuclear industry for early replacement of American fuel from a pair of "Temelin" NPP on Russian fuel assemblies. According to the director, "Temelin" Milos Stepanovskikh, the decision was due to several factors. "First, it was repeatedly noted the presence of abnormalities in the operation of U.S. consumption, — he explains. — Second, from the Russian fuel an opportunity to improve the efficiency of the units at the station. Third, the Russian fuel is able to work in longer fuel cycles and campaigns to raise the reactor power, operated in maneuvering modes, and more. "
For of "fuel elements", is celebrating this year today, September 12, the 15th anniversary of the founding, the physical start of the second power plant "Temelin" became symbolic. Recall that the company was established in 1996 in increasing competition in the markets of nuclear fuel, including in the traditional segments (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, etc.). Creation of "fuel elements", the consolidation of the nuclear fuel cycle and their work in a vertically integrated structure, strengthened the position of the Russian nuclear fuel producer. Since the establishment of "fuel elements" to enterprises was put clear objective — to increase competitiveness through modernization and innovation of its development. The company besides production assets consolidated the academic units, design offices. Ensure that there was cross-cutting responsibility for the costs and the introduction of advanced technologies.
Internal restructuring has allowed, among other things, generate additional investment resources for the development and deployment into production of new modifications of nuclear fuel with improved performance, to increase the automation of production, its culture, which directly affect the safety and reliability of Russian products.
"Companies are doing and continue to do everything possible to provide customers with fuel, fully satisfying its requirements, — says the vice-president of" fuel elements "Vasily Konstantinov. — This is a complex and two-way operation — customer requirements for product claims, "fuel elements", executing them, progressively developing and offering consumers a product with high performance. The "fuel elements" increased confidence in the fact that the efficiency of the units will entail the establishment of long-term and mutually beneficial relationship between the partners. For example, our specialists have developed an advanced nuclear fuel type TVSA. First of all, this modification of the fuel assembly has passed extensive testing in Russia, after which the reference product was offered to foreign customers. This is the type of fuel assemblies has been proposed in the tender for the NPP "Temelin".
In parallel, the tender of "fuel elements" won the competition for the supply of fuel for the second unit of the Finnish nuclear power plant "Loviisa". "The victory was convincing, as a result of a contract was signed with the Finnish company Fortum to supply fuel to the end of the life of the two units, — said Vasily Konstantinov. — Thus, JSC "TVEL" has strengthened its position in the traditional market and established a good and solid foundation for the development of business in Central and Eastern Europe. "
Despite the results, the competition in the market has continued to escalate. "At some point it became clear that without increasing the competitiveness of our share in the international market of nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) will not grow, despite the fact that in front of us were set ambitious targets for transformation of the" fuel elements "in the global technology leader with a multiple increase in revenues from marketed products, — says the first vice-president of "fuel elements" Vladimir Rozhdestvensky. — Enterprises have had a lot of burdens in non-main proceeding, and at the same time, affecting the cost of the final product — a nuclear fuel. This auxiliary production and social infrastructure, which fell to the legacy of the previous period. " To accomplish the tasks needed to ensure the restructuring of assets is obligatory carrying out socially acceptable policy, improve the structure of enterprises, to bring non-core assets. In 2007, work started in this direction, for several years has been a new level of development as a result of intensive programs, known as "New Image".
"Our goal was to improve the competitiveness of the plants by reducing costs, diversify production while providing a high quality and safety — says the first vice-president of" fuel elements "Andrew Nikipelov. — Among our goals was announced wage increases in sales, production and productivity. " The program was in close coordination with the trade unions, local authorities, regional authorities. Of "fuel elements" actively involved in social projects and development of the regions in which the plants are located.
During the transformation fabrikatsionnye enterprises have achieved notable success. As an example, experience Ltd. "Machine Building Plant" (Elektrostal). Performance IGC over the years has grown by 3.5 times, only in the production of fuel pellets and powder economic effect amounted to about 3 billion rubles. If the plant average wage in 2006 was 15 600 rubles., In 2010 — 43 thousand rubles.
In 2010 JSC "TVEL" has entered a new phase of its development on its base the decision of the State Corporation "Rosatom" has been created fuel company combining enterprise for the production of nuclear fuel, separation-sublimation plants, gas centrifuge plants and a number of scientific and engineering offices in including high-tech Research Institute. AA Bochvar.
"The decision on the establishment of the Fuel Company was perfectly logical in terms of building a management structure of" Rosatom ", — said the deputy general director of the State Corporation for Development and International Business Kirill Komarov. According to him, by 2009, the majority of enterprises, then entered into the fuel company, was in "fragmented" state: each operates as a separate business unit. At the same time, the company "TVEL" by the time she worked for 13 years in the market of nuclear fuel. During this period it has proved to be very effective as it is industrial holding company, capable in difficult conditions to produce high-quality high-tech products. "JSC" TVEL "demonstrated ability in difficult marke
t conditions, develop and conduct a very serious process of reorganization and optimization vital to maintain and expand the market to remain competitive in competition with the world's largest companies — says Kirill Komarov. — These factors, as well as an understanding that the establishment of the company from the ground up with the same competencies, especially management, which already possessed of "fuel elements", is extremely difficult to define a choice. "
Today, among the long-term objectives are the following: a two-fold increase in annual revenues and an increase in the market share of the global nuclear fuel cycle, the development of innovative general industrial activity. In the "cage" is already implementing projects to market nuclear fuel for reactors of Western design "TVS-Kvadrat", the creation of a new generation of gas centrifuges, more productive and efficient construction fabrikatsionnogo plant in Ukraine …
According to the president of "fuel elements" Jury Venison, the history of the company — it is 15 years of responsible innovation. "Over the past few years has been done the hard way — he says. — The Company has achieved significant results, rightly strengthened its position among the world's largest producers of nuclear fuel. Today's challenge — to keep up with the times, introducing advanced technologies, entering new markets for fuel, increasing competitiveness and strengthening the competitive position of NFC with global companies. "