Department of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Fuel Complex

No image availableDepartment of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Fuel Complex, ECIL Post
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
, (L) 04027122126, (M) 07893959898, (F) 04027120849

Company Profile

Nuclear Fuel Complex is an industrial establishment under the department of atomic energy based at Hyderabad. We are the only organisation to manfucture to Nuclear Fuel in the country to cater to the needs of nuclear fuel for the generation of electricity through nuclear fuel. NFC is very strategic organisation in the country.

The Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), established in the year 1971 is a major industrial unit of Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. The complex is responsible for the supply of nuclear fuel bundles and reactor core components for all the nuclear power reactors operating in India. It is a unique facility where natural and enriched uranium fuel, zirconium alloy cladding and reactor core components are manufactured under one roof starting from the raw materials.

The Fuel

India is pursuing an indigenous three stage Nuclear Power Programme involving closed fuel cycles of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and Liquid Metal cooled Fast Breeder Reactors (LMFBRs) for judicious utilisation of the relatively limited reserves of uranium and vast resources of thorium. PHWRs form the first stage of the Power programme which uses zircaloy as clad & Natural uranium dioxide as fuel. In addition, India is operating two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) for the last 30 years. The zircaloy clad enriched uranium oxide fuel elements and assemblies for these reactors are fabricated at NFC starting from imported enriched uranium hexafluoride.

Uranium Refining and Conversion

The raw material for the production of PHWR fuel in NFC is Magnesium Di-uranate (MDU) popularly known as 'Yellow Cake'. The MDU concentrate is obtained from the uranium mine and milled at Jaduguda, Jharkhand, operated by Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UICL). The impure MDU is subjected to nitric acid dissolution followed by solvent extraction and precipitation with ammonia to get Ammonium Di-uranate (ADU). By further steps of controlled calcination and reduction, sinterable uranium dioxide powder is formed which is then compacted in the form of cylindrical pellets and sintered at high temperature to get high density uranium dioxide pellets. For BWRs, the enriched uranium hexafluoride is subjected to pyrohydrolysis and converted to ammonium di-uranate which is treated in the same way as natural ADU to obtain high density uranium dioxide pellets.

Zircaloy Production

The source mineral for the production of zirconium metal is zircon (zirconium silicate) available in the beach sand deposits of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Orissa and is supplied by the Indian Rare Earths Ltd. Zircon sand is processed through caustic fusion, dissolution, solvent extraction (to remove hafnium), precipitation and calcination steps to get zirconium oxide. Further, the pure zirconium oxide is subjected to high temperature chlorination, reactive metal reduction and vaccum distillation to get homogeneous zirconium sponge. The sponge is then briquetted with alloying ingredients and multiple vacuum arc melted to get homogeneous zircaloy ingots which are then converted into seamless tubes, sheets and bars by extrusion, pilgering and finishing operations.

Fuel Fabrication

For PHWR fuel , the cylindrical UO2 pellets are stacked and encapsulated in thin walled tubes of zirconium alloy, both ends of which are sealed by resistance welding using zircaloy end plugs. A number of such fuel pins are assembled to form a fuel bundle that can be conveniently loaded into the reactor. The fuel bundles for PHWR 220 Mwe and PHWR 500 Mwe consist of 19 and 37 fuel pins respectively. For BWRs, two types, namely 6x6 and 7x7 array fuel assemblies are fabricated.

Seamless Tubes, FBR Sub-assemblies and Special Materials

The Stainless Steel Tubes Plant and Special Tubes Plant at NFC produce a wide variety of stainless steel and titanium seamless tubes for both nuclear and non nuclear applications. NFC is supplying sub-assemblies and all stainless steel hardware including tubes, bars, sheets and springs for the operating FBTR and the forthcoming PFBR. The Special Materials Plant at NFC manufactures high value, low volume, high purity Special Materials like tantalum, niobium, gallium, indium etc., for applications in electronics, aerospace and defense sectors.

Fabrication of Critical Equipment

A notable feature at the Nuclear Fuel Complex is that, apart from in-house process development, a lot of encouragement is given to the Indian industry for fabrication of plant equipments and automated systems. Major sophisticated equipments fabricated in-house at NFC include the slurry extraction system for purification of uranium, high temperature (1750 deg C) pellet sintering furnace, vacuum annealing furnace, cold reducing mill, split spacer and bearing pad welding machines, automatic tube cleaning station, etc. In addition to this, several services like vacuum arc melted alloys production, seamless tube extrusion and finishing, production of tools, NDT services, etc., are undertaken.

Waste Management, Health and Safety

By means of an elaborately organised programme of effluent management, NFC takes scrupulous care in protecting the environment. The Health Physics Unit, the Safety Engineering Division and Environment and Pollution Control Group keeps a continuous watch to ensure that the radioactive and chemical discharges are much below the threshold limits. Rich greenery has been developed in NFC site which is being nourished with treated waste water from the production plants.

Self Reliance

The Nuclear Fuel Complex is an outstanding example of a successful translation of indigenously developed processes to production scale operations. The strong base of self-reliance in the crucial area of nuclear fuel and core components is a great asset to the country in not only supporting the nuclear power programme but also in developing a large number of allied and ancillary industries.

Contact Person(s)

    • Nagarjuna Prasad
    • , (L) 914027184999, (M) 07893959898
    • Y Nagarjuna Prasad
    • Public Relations Officer
    • , (L) 04027184168, (M) 07893959898
    • , (L) 04027184168, (M) 07893959898, (F) 04027120849

Department of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Fuel Complex recent press release(s)

NFC handed over 5,00,000th Nuclear Fuel Assembly to NPCIL

Dr Sinha congratulated NFC for its excellence performance over the years and for the important role played by it in the Nuclear Power Programme of the country. He reiterated that the country is able to deal with the other nations from the position of strength due to the technological developments being carried out by the various units of DAE. He also mentioned that the est... More...

  • Published on Jun 8, 12
Shri N Saibaba Is The New Chief Executive For Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC)

Shri N SAIBABA, Distinguished Scientist has taken over as Chief Executive, Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) today i.e., on 01.04.2012 in place of Shri R N Jayaraj, who has retired on 31.03.2012 on completion of two year extended period of service. Shri Saibaba was holding the post of Additional Chief Executive, NFC. More...

  • Published on Apr 1, 12
All India Atomic Energy Ball Badminton Tournaments

Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad (NFC) is conducting XXVII All India Atomic Energy Ball Badminton Tournament at Atomic Energy Central School (AECS-II), DAE Colony, Hyderabad from 23rd January to 27th January 2012. Eight teams from different Atomic Energy Units from all over India will be participating in the above tournament. Total Thirty three (33) matches will be played d... More...

  • Published on Jan 20, 12
Indian Nuclear Society (INS) Award to Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) Deputy Chief Executive

Shri G V S Hemanth Rao, Deputy Chief Executive, Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) has been awarded the Prestigious award of the Indian Nuclear Society for his outstanding contributions in the field of Nuclear Fuel Fabrication. More...

  • Published on Nov 23, 11
Truck carrying uranium peroxide in minor accident, no spillage: DAE

A trailer truck carrying Uranium Peroxide from Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., Jaduguda (Jharkhand) to Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad met with a minor accident on October 24, 2011 at about 08.15 am on NH-5 at Narsinghpeta, Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. More...

  • Published on Oct 25, 11