The U.S.-Russian joint studies on using power reactors to disposition surplus weapon plutonium as spent fuel

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In 1996, the US and the Russian Federation completed an initial joint study of the candidate options for the disposition of surplus weapons plutonium in both countries. The options included long term storage, immobilization of the plutonium in glass or ceramic for geologic disposal, and the conversion of weapons plutonium to spent fuel in power reactors. For the latter option, the US is only considering the use of existing light water reactors (LWRs) with no new reactor construction for plutonium disposition, or the use of Canadian deuterium uranium (CANDU) heavy water reactors. While Russia advocates building new reactors, the cost ... continued below

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15 p.

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Chebeskov, A.; Kalashnikov, A.; Bevard, B.; Moses, D. & Pavlovichev, A. September 1, 1997.

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In 1996, the US and the Russian Federation completed an initial joint study of the candidate options for the disposition of surplus weapons plutonium in both countries. The options included long term storage, immobilization of the plutonium in glass or ceramic for geologic disposal, and the conversion of weapons plutonium to spent fuel in power reactors. For the latter option, the US is only considering the use of existing light water reactors (LWRs) with no new reactor construction for plutonium disposition, or the use of Canadian deuterium uranium (CANDU) heavy water reactors. While Russia advocates building new reactors, the cost is high, and the continuing joint study of the Russian options is considering only the use of existing VVER-1000 LWRs in Russia and possibly Ukraine, the existing BN-60O fast neutron reactor at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant in Russia, or the use of the Canadian CANDU reactors. Six of the seven existing VVER-1000 reactors in Russia and the eleven VVER-1000 reactors in Ukraine are all of recent vintage and can be converted to use partial MOX cores. These existing VVER-1000 reactors are capable of converting almost 300 kg of surplus weapons plutonium to spent fuel each year with minimum nuclear power plant modifications. Higher core loads may be achievable in future years.

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15 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98003150

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  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)/Advanced Study Institute (ASI) conference, Moscow (Russian Federation), Sep 1997

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  • Other: DE98003150
  • Report No.: ORNL/CP--95935
  • Report No.: CONF-9709199--
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 634097
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc695478

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  • September 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2016, 1:29 p.m.

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Chebeskov, A.; Kalashnikov, A.; Bevard, B.; Moses, D. & Pavlovichev, A. The U.S.-Russian joint studies on using power reactors to disposition surplus weapon plutonium as spent fuel, article, September 1, 1997; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc695478/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.