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June 23, 2021

Companies that rekindle Romanian industry : Pitesti Nuclear Fuel Plant, one of a kind in Central and Eastern Europe

+ The plant has produced 150,000 nuclear fuel bundles for the Cernavoda nuclear power plant

Nuclearelectrica has announced that the Pitesti Nuclear Fuel Plant (FCN Pitesti), its subsidiary, has produced its 150,000th nuclear fuel bundle. FCN Pitesti is the only globally certified producer, outside of Canada, of CANDU 6 nuclear fuel bundles. The plant is certified by AECL Canada (currently Candu Energy) and Zircatec Precision Industries Inc Canada.
Every year, the Cernavoda nuclear power plant consumes approximately 10,000 nuclear fuel bundles produced by FCN Pitesti. From a qualitative standpoint and from the standpoint of the production process results, FCN Pitesti registers a nuclear fuel bundle malfunction rate that is far below the accepted limits of the CANDU System’s Design Authority, a fact confirmed by Cernavoda nuclear plant’s operation and production data.

“FCN Pitesti’s goal is to ensure high-grade nuclear fuel for the maximum security use of Nuclearelectrica reactors by integrating its own products in a nuclear circuit with special results. Nuclear industry bases its performance on the quality and robustness of its products, on respect for security and protection norms and standards and on highly-specialized human resources,” FCN Pitesti CEO Florin Gheba stated.

The use of the 150,000 nuclear fuel bundles generated 167 TWh of electricity. The same quantity of electricity would have been obtained in conventional power plants by burning 333 million tons of brown coal, 166.5 million tons of bituminous coal, or 47.5 million tons of heating oil.

“The Romanian nuclear industry is currently a model of performance and efficiency for many other domains and a great advantage for the Romanian energy system, environment and consumer needs. In over 30 years, Romanian specialists have managed to start and develop a nuclear program that puts Romania on first place in the world when it comes to the use of installed power coefficient, impeccably capitalizing on natural, material and human resources,” Nuclearelectrica CEO Daniela Lulache stated.
FCN Pitesti’s production respects nuclear industry quality, environment protection, nuclear safety and labour protection requirements.
With the nuclear fuel produced by FCN Pitesti and used by the two nuclear reactors of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, Nuclearelectrica covers 20 per cent of the country’s electricity production.

Set up in 1992, FCN Pitesti is authorized by AECL Canada as a supplier of CANDU 6 nuclear fuel and currently covers the nuclear fuel needs of Cernavoda nuclear power plant’s two reactors (approximately 11,000 nuclear fuel bundles).

The nuclear fuel used by CANDU 6 nuclear power plants is based on natural uranium.

During its lifespan, of approximately 1 year, a CANDU 6 nuclear fuel bundle generates 1,115 MWh. The same quantity of energy would require the burning of the following quantities of fossil fuel in conventional power plants: 470,000 kg of conventional fuel with a calorific power of 7,000 Kcal/kg; 1,110,000 kg of coal with a calorific power of 3,200 Kcal/kg; 360,000 normal cubic meters of natural gas with a calorific power of 8,050 Kcal/Nm3.

FCN Pitesti can offer consultancy, technical assistance and a range equipment to those interested in transferring nuclear fuel production technology.

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