Conversion of the IGR Reactor: Processing Line Production

23 February 2024

RSE “National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan” (NNC RK) jointly with U.S. colleagues from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and AVANTech Company, successfully assembled, adjusted and tested an installation, which is part of the processing line for down-blending and immobilization of irradiated highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel from the IGR research reactor.

As a reminder, the NNC RK continues optimizing the composition and configuration of the new core with LEU fuel in order to maintain and even improve the characteristics of the reactor as part of the reactor conversion.

At the NNC’s experimental facility, activity is under way to down-blend and dispose irradiated HEU fuel of the IGR’s first core, as well as to develop methods for manufacturing new experimental LEU fuel for the IGR reactor.

In this regard, the NNC RK has developed its own technology for down-blending HEU fuel from the IGR reactor using the dry mixing method, which received a positive expert opinion from the IAEA.

 Thus, today the NNC RK has become the only designer and owner in the world of technology for down-blending and immobilization of irradiated graphite HEU fuel.

 Currently, production of the processing line is in a progress, which success was confirmed this week.