The Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), part of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), on Thursday said it has set a new world record with production of 1512A metric tonnes (MT) of nuclear fuel in 2016-17, surpassing its own record.
NFC in Hyderabad, which produces fuel assemblies required for all the operating nuclear power reactors in the country, became world’s highest producer of nuclear fuel with the production of 1503 MT of pressurised heavy-water reactor (PHWR) fuel bundles during 2015-16.
NFC is the only organisation in the world today having a comprehensive nuclear fuel manufacturing cycle – from ore to core, involving processing of both Uranium and Zirconium streams all under a single roof, it said in a statement.
The organisation made a modest beginning with 100 MT per year Aand went on augmenting it’s capacity to cater to the fuel requirement of all the operating Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs).
NFC attributed the increased production to process improvement and automation, besides the dedicated efforts by its employees.
It also achieved the highest production of 1154 MT of Zirconium Oxide powder and 759 MT of Zirconium Sponge from its production units at Hyderabad and at Zirconium Complex (ZC), Pazhayakayal to meet the Zircaloy requirements of the PHWRs and BWRs.
The Complex is also engaged in the manufacturing of various Zirconium alloy reactor core structurals for PHWRs and BWRs, apart from manufacture of all the sub-assemblies and special requirement of Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being set up at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu.