Russian national atomic power corporation Rosatom, technical consultants and the main equipment suppliers for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, has started testing accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) for nuclear reactors.

A Rosatom statement here on Saturday said the accident-tolerant fuel being tested by its fuel subsidiary TVEL is resistant to severe accidents at nuclear power plants.

"In case of heat removal failure in the (reactor) core it is expected to keep its integrity for a long enough time without a zirconium-steam reaction that induces hydrogen release," the statement said.

The first two fuel assemblies based on accident-tolerant fuel have been manufactured at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant, it said.

"Each fuel assembly contains 24 fuel rods with different combinations of materials," it added.

According to Rosatom, the first phase of the reactor tests and post-reactor studies of the accident-tolerant fuel will be completed in 2019, while the next stage includes loading the fuel assemblies into a commercial power reactor in Russia.
Source: IANS