Nuclear fuel fabrication is a specialised service rather than a commodity transaction, and the main fuel manufacturers are also the main suppliers of nuclear power plants, or connected to them. The largest fuel manufacturing capacity can be found in the EU (France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK), the Russian Federation and the USA but fuel is also manufactured in other countries, often under licence from one of the main suppliers.
At Rokkasho-mura, Japan, it is expected that completion of the MOX fuel fabrication plant with an annual planned capacity of 130 tonnes of heavy metal (1 000 BWR MOX assemblies) will be delayed beyond the target date of March 2016.
Cameco’s fuel manufacturing plant at Port Hope has been granted a ten-year operating licence renewal by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
TVEL signed a contract with Sweden’s Vattenfall Nuclear Fuel AB for the supply of a pilot batch of its TVS-Kvadrat lead fuel assemblies. These fuel assemblies will be tested for qualification, which would enable TVEL to emerge as a new player in the PWR fuel fabrication market.
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