Battle squares with the hexagons or the carve-up of news from the atomic pie

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At first, a couple of introductory words. The fuel for nuclear power plants and fuel at all, they are two very different things, not to say that opposites. This coal can be paddled with a shovel and throw into the furnace of a steam locomotive, the nuclear fuel is just the opposite. A nuclear reactor at its core, this is a common pressure cooker, which stuffed nuclear fuel rods (fuel elements). According to research intensity, technology and precision precision performance of these fuel elements, or rather the fuel bundle, if not surpass itself a nuclear reactor, it is quite adequate. Moreover, it is the production and supply of fuel for nuclear power plants and collects all the cream from the nuclear power business. If the customer has built a nuclear power plant specific project, then he has to consume fuel only provided for this project, and no more. A fuel produces is the one who built and the station. But the temptation to buy that be on the side and cheaper, is always present.

Historically, in the world there are two formats for assemblies for commercial reactors — "Soviet", hexagonal cross-section and the "western" square cross-section. Build themselves represent a such long bars corresponding cross section, the fuel pellets vnutri.Test on polutorogodovalyh kids showed that the square does not fit in the hexagonal, however, as to the traffic, and therefore competition among nuclear workers in the 20th century was practically absent, each built and "milked" of its nuclear power plants in the meadow. But with the fall of the "iron curtain" and other events, each of the players in this market, has become intently to look over the fence to the neighbor. And then the beginning of an interesting case.

The first loaf in the opponent encroached Americans. And where did they do that, well, of course, in the Eastern Europe. At the beginning of this century, Westinghouse began shipping its FAs to "Temelin" NPP built in the Czech Republic in the Soviet project (the construction of U.S. nuclear fuel assemblies, of course, at the same time was adapted to the VVER-1000, which are on the station). We assume the 1-0 in favor of the Americans.

However, the first attempt was a success, as was the American fuel rods warp and twist the screw in the reactor, which became acutely safe operation of the station. In 2007, the Czechs, crossing, back to the old supplier — Rosatom. At 1-1.

Well, once — not torture, the Americans decided, and went to Yushchenko, well, how could he refuse. And in 2010 in the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant reactors have been downloaded 126 Western hexagons "(American assembly adapted to the Soviet-Russian VVER reactors are known as TVS-W). U.S. back in front, 2-1.

But … time goes by … accrue to these assemblies from the reactor … and what do we see? They also curves! Roughly speaking, if they shove back into the reactor, where they are not, whether it will get stuck with all the consequences. Among the major flaws in the Commission Report magazine identified: the unreliability of the spacer grids, poor design liners and, finally, poor design spring unit head assembly. It should be noted that not all the assembly, of course, were not suitable for use. "Living" are loaded back into the reactor, the remaining replaced Russian assemblies. According to preliminary estimates, due to forced outage of two blocks of the South-Ukrainian NPP "Energoatom" did not get about $ 75 million. Plus direct fuel component, which, according to the rough estimated to be about $ 100 million excluding the costs of the Ukrainian "Energoatom" in the solution of irradiated fuel assemblies and fresh-W, as well as the need to replace that Russian fuel. In 2010 the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych becomes, in which Russia and Ukraine have agreed on the construction of the Ukraine two more reactors at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant and a plant for the production of nuclear fuel. The fate of Westinghouse in this case was a foregone conclusion. 2-2.

However, the "Rosatom" did not stop there and went to the native western territory, which is controlled by Westinghouse and French nuclear concern AREVA. This spring, the CEO of Vattenfall Nuclear Fuel AB Per Olof Nestenborg said that in 2014 the Russian nuclear expert will concern the supply of its fuel at the Swedish nuclear power plants, "Ringhals-3." The head of one of the largest energy companies in Europe specifically stressed that it is not a test, and the full exploitation of the Russian nuclear fuel. "It is important to mention that we are testing builds, and perform verification operation assemblies. That is, we trust the experience of fuel elements in the operating fuel for reactors and fuel fabrication for other companies, "- said Nestenborg. The 2-3.

 And as a conclusion, we present the extreme media quotes on the plans of the Russian fuel expansion in the western market. Fuel "daughter" of Russian nuclear concern "Rosatom" — TVEL — negotiating the licensing of fuel "TVS Square" (FA-K) Russian production with one of the energy companies in France. The journalists said senior vice president Peter Lavrenyuk fuel element. "We hope to soon complete agreement with the French company, which will open on" TVS square "- access to licensing. I hope that by the end of the year, will sign "- was quoted as Ekspert.Ru.

Export to France — a country that produces 90% of electricity on their own nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel will be even more abruptly export of red wine and perfume. And all this is happening against the background of a fierce battle for the right to build nuclear power plant in Temelin (Czech Republic). French AREVA has already received a flick on the nose when she was just’ve gone and made for the door. Westinghouse has attracted heavy artillery, in the person of Hillary Clinton, well, but in the Czech betting company Fortuna last year announced a bet and receive rates: people before the end of 2011, the company not only guessed-winner, but also the beginning of time stroitelstva.Kakov result? The vast majority of Czech players believe that, despite the strong lobbying of U.S. politicians, win the tender of the Czech-Russian consortium ASE, Gidropress and Skoda JS. «At this rate the applicant made a total of 85% of the bet," — said the press secretary LN Fortuna Peter Shrain (Petr Srain). In the victory of the US-Japanese company Westinghouse, he says, believe only 15% of the players, 5% predict the success of the French Areva.

In conclusion, it should be said that the fuel elements (fuel company, part of Rosatom) actively invested in further research and development on fuel for nuclear power plants, including the FA-K, to keep foreign markets. The volume of investments in the improvement of fuel in 2011 amounted to 1.4 billion rubles, in 2012 — 1.8 billion rubles. At the 2013th planned R & D funding for fuel subject to the amount of more than $ 2.1 billion.

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