Russia delivers fuel for China's CFR-600 reactor

Rosatom's subsidiary TVEL has delivered the first batch of fuel to China's CFR-600 fast-neutron reactor. CFR-600 is the first of the two fast-neutron reactors that are built in Xiapu, Fujian province. The construction of the two units began in 2017 and in 2020. The first unit is scheduled to begin operations in 2023.

Russia provides China with assistance in building the reactors. In 2019, TVEL and CNLY signed a fuel supply contract that will provide the first unit with HEU fuel throughout 2030. To support this contract, Russia expanded the HEU enrichment production line at Electrochemical plant (EKhZ) in Zelenogorsk in 2019 and set up a dedicated fuel production line at the MSZ Plant in Electrostal in 2021.

According to an analysis of the trade data, the fuel was delivered in three shipments, in September, November, and December 2022. The composition of the CFR-600 fuel is not known, but it may be similar to that of the BN-600, which uses uranium with enrichment of 17%, 21%, and 26%. If that is the case, the estimated mass of HEU in the core is about 7.6 MT (with 21% and 26% enrichment) or about 2 MT of 90% HEU equivalent.