Nuclear Fuel Complex

Nuclear Fuel Complex
Nuclear industry
Founded 1971
Headquarters Hyderabad, India
Key people
N. Saibaba, Chief Executive
Number of employees
Website []

The Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) was established in 1971 as a major industrial unit of India's Department of Atomic Energy, for the supply of nuclear fuel bundles and reactor core components. It is a unique facility where natural and enriched uranium fuel, zirconium alloy cladding and reactor core components are manufactured under one roof.

Natural uranium, mined at Jaduguda Uranium Mine in the Singhbhum area of Jharkhand state, is converted into nuclear fuel assemblies. A 220 MW PHWR fuel bundle contains 15.2 kg of natural uranium dioxide (UO2). Uranium dioxide pellets, which generate heat while undergoing fission, also generate fission products.[1] The fission products, which are radioactive, should be contained and not allowed to mix with coolant water. Hence the UO2 pellets are contained in zirconium alloy tubes with both ends hermetically sealed.

Nuclear Fuel Complex supplies zircaloy clad uranium oxide fuel assemblies and zirconium alloy structural components for all 14 operating atomic power reactors in India.[2] The Hyderabad plant has a capacity to produce 250 tons of UO2 per year and is expected to expanded to a 600 tons per year capacity.[2]

NFC products are supplied to the Department of Atomic Energy, the Indian Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and other defence organisations, as well as chemical, fertiliser, and ball bearing industries.[2]

NFC is planning to establish two major fuel fabrication facilities to meet the expected jump in nuclear power production.[3]