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ESSANUF Report Summary

Project ID: 671546
Funded under: H2020-Euratom-1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ESSANUF (European Supply of SAfe NUclear Fuel)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

ESSANUF (European Supply of Safe NUclear Fuel) is the Euratom funded project with the overall objective to create greater security of fuel supply to countries operating VVER-440 nuclear power plants in Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine. The project enables the re-entry of Westinghouse as nuclear fuel supplier to VVER-440 offering diversification and greater security of fuel supply as Westinghouse is the only supplier of VVER-440 fuel besides the Russian company TVEL.

The project includes development of an improved VVER-440 fuel design and assessment of the manufacturing capabilities. The project intends to contribute to the generation of a generic licensing methodology for VVER-440 fuel and the set-up of tools for performing the required licensing analyses.

The project is led by Westinghouse Sweden and includes eight consortium partners: VUJE, ÚJV Řež (NRI), Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), NucleoCon, National Science Center Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology (NSC KIPT), Institute for Transuranium Elements of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC-ITU) and Enusa Industrias Avanzadas (ENUSA). The consortium covers by their geographical distribution the targeted countries operating VVER-440 nuclear power plants (NPP).

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Performed work and obtained results includes:
* Definition of the necessary modifications to the existing Westinghouse VVER-440 fuel assembly design to fulfil the customer’s needs and the regulatory requirements.
* Selection of the most suitable materials for the different components of the fuel assembly.
* Establishment of a development program, including required testing and verification of the modified design.
* Assessment of the manufacturability of the modified design with the objective to define any changes needed to the manufacturing processes and equipment, as well as the associated qualifications of these.
* A better understanding of the regulatory requirements in each country and understanding of which analyses that are needed to be performed to fulfil these requirements and thereby show that the fuel can be safely operated.
* Creation of a strong cooperation between countries with experience of adaptation of fuel type and other countries concerned.
* The work to select the most suited set of codes and define the methodology to be applied and prepare data, and interfaces between the codes to enable effective analysis has been started.
* The verification and validation of each code to ensure it can be used for its intended purpose has been started.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The project strengthens the competitiveness of an European Union nuclear fuel provider. Development of an upgraded VVER-440 design has been done in close cooperation with technology experts and regulatory experts, enabling integration of knowledge.

The consortium creates a solid base for diversification of fuel supply to VVER-440 reactors in the EU and in Ukraine, in full compliance with nuclear safety standards. The project speeds up the process of diversifying the fuel suppliers for VVER 440 reactors. The new fuel meet the European market´s need of advanced and reliable VVER reactor fuel. For several partners involved in the project there is a great commercial potential in meeting the European market needs, which will contribute to growth within the EU, creating both profit and new jobs.

In addition to diversification, the project enhance the communication and relationship between the utilities and regulators of the different countries. Information exchange and open discussions between the different parties is encouraged.

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