The experience gained in fuel utilization and the basic requirements for fuel licensing in the Slovak NPPs is described. The original project of WWER-440 reactors supposes 3-year fuel cycle with cycle length of about 320 full power days (FPD). Since 1984 it was reduced to 290 FPD. Based on the experience of other countries, a 4-year fuel cycle utilization started in 1987. It is illustrated with data from the Bohunice NPP units. Among 504 fuel assemblies left for the fourth burnup cycle no leakage was observed. The mean burnup achieved in the different units varied from 33.1 to 38.5 Mwd/kg U. The new fuel assemblies used are different from the recent ones in construction, thermohydraulics, water-uranium ratio, enrichment and material design. To meet the safety criteria, regulatory requirements for exploitation of new fuel in WWER-440 were formulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Slovak Republic. 1 tab., 5 refs.