Westinghouse has announced that its VVER-1000 fuel has "performed flawlessly" over at least three fuel cycles following an annual inspection of nuclear fuel assemblies at unit 3 of the South Ukraine nuclear plant.

The joint inspection of six Westinghouse fuel assemblies by representatives from the power plant, SE AtomRemontService and Westinghouse took place between 15 February and 1 March 2015, and the results were verified and validated by the State Nuclear Inspectorate of Ukraine.

Westinghouse also said that 42 additional Westinghouse fuel assemblies, which were delivered to the plant in November, would be loaded into the VVER-1000 reactor "in the coming days."

"Following comprehensive inspections of all nuclear fuel at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, it has been concluded by joint Energoatom and Westinghouse experts that the Westinghouse fuel has performed exactly to specification and has not exhibited any flaws in its operation, as expected," said Yves Brachet, Westinghouse president, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"This inspection is one of several that confirm the safe and efficient use of Westinghouse fuel and its utilisation in additional plants in Ukraine and in other countries that utilise Russian-designed nuclear power stations."

Nuclear fuel made by Westinghouse in the USA was first loaded into the South Ukraine nuclear power plant in April 2010. The milestone followed a ten-year effet supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to help diversify the Ukraine’s fuel sources for its nuclear power stations.

Photo: South Ukraine NPP (Credit: Energoatom)