Awarded by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC), and China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC), the $1bn contract covers supply of TVS-2M nuclear fuel for initial loading of ‘s units 3 and 4, and six complete refueling sets for the unit 3.

Additional supplies include accessories for fabrication of fuel for all four units of the Tianwan NPP at the Yibin Fuel Factory in China.

Currently used in Russia’s Balakovo and Rostov power plants, the TVS-2M nuclear fuel modifications are expected to ensure the 18-month fuel cycle operation of the plant’s VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors.

The TVS-2M operation has recently been licensed by the Chinese regulators following completion of its pilot study using six TVS-2M assemblies at Tianwan 1 unit.

Units 1 and 2 are due to be converted to 18-month operating cycles from 2014, while units 3 and 4 will run on the fuel from their first core loadings onwards.