Westinghouse to help Czech plant engineer reactor-fuel transition

CEZ, based in the Czech Republic, has chosen Westinghouse Electric Co. to supply Temelin Nuclear Power Station with six Lead Test Assemblies (LTAs), Westinghouse said this week.

The agreement is part of the development standards and industry licensing for novel fuel types used in reactors. The plant, located near the Czech Republic town of Temelin, uses a unique fuel design for its current operations. This means it is important to use careful testing, with a small amount of fuel being introduced over the next two years. This will guarantee that the new fuel is safe, as well as compatible, with the current fuel in the system.

Westinghouse is one of the biggest nuclear fuel suppliers in the world and has experience with these kinds of fuel-transition programs. The contract calls for Westinghouse to use its facilities in Sweden to produce the LTAs.

“The decision by CEZ to launch an LTA program for its Temelín Nuclear Power Station is significant,” Jose Emeterio Gutierrez, Westinghouse's senior vice president of nuclear fuel and components manufacturing, said. “It demonstrates that CEZ is serious about taking measures to improve its security of supply through a diversification of its nuclear fuel sources. We also believe this most recent order reflects CEZ’s confidence in the quality, reliability and competitiveness of Westinghouse VVER-1000 fuel."

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