OREANDA-NEWS  The first batch of nuclear fuel for the replacement plant under construction has been delivered to the site of the current Kursk NPP, the press service of the nuclear power plant reported.

"The first fuel assembly (FA) will be loaded into the reactor of the first power unit of the Kursk NPP-2 this year, thereby marking the physical launch," the message says.

Three transport packaging kits with the first six fuel assemblies were delivered to the site.

"In the near future, we plan to start cold-hot running-in of the reactor plant - this is the last major technological operation at the power unit, preceding the stage of physical start-up. During it, we will confirm the operability of the main and auxiliary equipment and systems of the reactor plant already at operating parameters," Alexander Uvakin, director of the Kursk NPP, is quoted in the message.

The manufacturer of the starting load of nuclear fuel is the Machine-Building Plant (JSC "MSZ"), an enterprise of the fuel division of Rosatom in the Moscow region Electrostal.

"In total, the VVER-TOI project provides for 163 fuel assemblies, 313 fuel elements in each fuel assembly. After obtaining a license to operate power unit No. 1, the entire first fuel load will be moved by specialized transport to the building of the fresh fuel storage of Kursk NPP-2 to carry out the fuel input control procedure, form transport covers and send them to the reactor compartment," the press release says.

The fuel cycle during operation is 18 months. Replacement of spent fuel assemblies with "fresh" ones will be carried out on a stopped and decompressed reactor under a layer of water by a remote-controlled reloading machine.

Kursk NPP-2 is a replacement station comprising two units with a capacity of 1,255 MW each. The construction of power units No. 1 and No. 2 of Kursk NPP-2 is carried out within the framework of the federal project "Design and construction of reference power units of nuclear power plants" of the integrated program "Development of equipment, technologies and scientific research in the field of nuclear energy use in the Russian Federation for the period up to 2024".