Russia’s AA Bochvar Research Institute of Inorganic Materials (VNIINM), part state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s fuel company Tvel, has established a working group to develop a pilot technology for 3D printing of the end parts of fuel assemblies. The decision was taken at a meeting of Rosatom’s Scientific and Technical Council attended by representatives Tvel, as well as specialists from VNIINM, the Mashinostroitelny Zavod in Elektrostal, the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant, Scientific and Production Association Tsentrotekh, and Scientific and Production Association TsNIITMASH, as well as engineering companies OKB Gidropress and OKBM along with other enterprises of Rosatom.
VNIINM Director General Leonid Karpyuk said: "We plan to use the possibilities of additive technologies in the nuclear industry in the manufacture of components for fuel assemblies of all types. These are primarily the end parts: the head, the shank, the support grid, the anti-debris filter. They are quite difficult to manufacture by existing methods, and using 3D-printing will make it possible to obtain products of unique design.”