The project Accelerated Program for Implementation of secure VVER fuel Supply will create security of supply of nuclear fuel for Russian designed pressurized water reactors (VVER) operating in the EU and Ukraine by diversification of fuel sources in full compliance with nuclear safety. The project will reinforce the European capabilities for nuclear fuel supply for reactors of VVER-440 design and expedite the process of strengthening such capabilities. The constitution of the consortium creates a strong cooperation between countries with experience of adaptation of fuel type and countries starting their journey towards nuclear fuel diversification.
Due to the situation in Ukraine and the fast transition from Russian to Western fuel design, work must be accelerated to be able to handle the situation that has arisen. The western design of fuel is hence introduced stepwise: emergent VVER-440 fuel designs for European energy security for delivery to Ukrainian power plant in year 2023, followed by a fuel design with improved economics for operation in all European plants without restrictions, and lastly next generation of fuel design. For an efficient licensing, a harmonized approach for VVER fuel licensing is required, for which cooperation between regulators, nuclear power plants and fuel supplier is necessary. This project will facilitate this cooperation. Re-establishment of manufacturing capability and licensing analyses capabilities with reliable methods and codes will also be addressed. The lifetime of the VVER plants within the European Union and Ukraine is very import to secure future energy supplies. The project will investigate how to operate the nuclear power plant for increased safety and prolongation of the life time of the VVER plants. This includes fuel inspection capabilities.