Conversion of Research Reactors

24 January 2020

With the support of the National Nuclear Safety Administration of the US Department of Energy, National Nuclear Center of RK is successfully implementing the project on research reactors conversion. In January, the meeting was held with US colleagues where the next stage of work on the conversion plan and preparation for IVG.1M HEU-fuel transportation and development of disposal technology for irradiated IGR HEU-fuel was discussed.

It is important to note that HEU fuel disposal technology developed by members of the National Nuclear Center of RK was highly appreciated by IAEA experts and specialists from Idaho National Laboratory (USA). The technology involves crushing, mixing of HEU - fuel with depleted uranium and subsequent concreting of mixture.

In 2020, post-reactor material testing studies of experimental IVG.1M LEU-fuel will be carried out at Materials Testing Complex of NNC RK that along with the obtained results of endurance tests will make it possible to receive total set of data to resolve the conversion start issue.

In case of a favorable decision, the procedures of physical start-up with LEU fuel after its delivery are ready to be started already in 2021. After a successful conversion of IVG.1M reactor, all spent highly enriched uranium fuel from this reactor should be transported to the Russian Federation for further processing.

Photo: the operations on IVG.1M LEU-fuel recovery after completion of endurance tests.


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