CNNC produces China’s first set of pressurized water reactor annular fuel assemblies

Updated: 2018-11-22


China’s first set of full-scale pressurized water reactor annular fuel assemblies, which were self-developed by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), passed their checks at the China North Nuclear Fuel Co Ltd, a subsidiary of CNNC, on Nov 20. 

Annular fuel assemblies are a new generation of nuclear fuel assemblies with high performance recognized at an international level. To own circular fuel assemblies is a significant milestone for nuclear power plants. 

CNNC’s successful development of the full-scale pressurized water reactor annular fuel assemblies marks the fact that the corporation has almost figured out all the key issues of manufacturing such assemblies, providing a solid guarantee for the follow-up industrial applications of annular fuel assemblies. 

Annular fuel assemblies, consisting of two-layer claddings and annular fuel pellets, are more advanced than traditional fuel assemblies. Because a coolant passage is added inside, they have larger heat transfer areas compared with the current rod-type fuel assemblies. In this way, the output power of a reactor core is improved, as is the efficiency of nuclear power. Meanwhile, the annular fuel assemblies feature low temperatures and stored energy, which increases the safety of nuclear power.