Estimate of the Sources of Plutonium-Containing Wastes Generated from MOX Fuel Production in Russia

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In Russia, mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is produced in a pilot facility ''Paket'' at ''MAYAK'' Production Association. The Mining-Chemical Combine (MCC) has developed plans to design and build a dedicated industrial-scale plant to produce MOX fuel and fuel assemblies (FA) for VVER-1000 water reactors and the BN-600 fast-breeder reactor, which is pending an official Russian Federation (RF) site-selection decision. The design output of the plant is based on a production capacity of 2.75 tons of weapons plutonium per year to produce the resulting fuel assemblies: 1.25 tons for the BN-600 reactor FAs and the remaining 1.5 tons for VVER-1000 FAs. ... continued below

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12 pages

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Kudinov, K. G.; Tretyakov, A. A.; Sorokin, Yu. P.; Bondin, V. V.; Manakova, L. F. & Jardine, L. J. February 26, 2002.

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Description

In Russia, mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is produced in a pilot facility ''Paket'' at ''MAYAK'' Production Association. The Mining-Chemical Combine (MCC) has developed plans to design and build a dedicated industrial-scale plant to produce MOX fuel and fuel assemblies (FA) for VVER-1000 water reactors and the BN-600 fast-breeder reactor, which is pending an official Russian Federation (RF) site-selection decision. The design output of the plant is based on a production capacity of 2.75 tons of weapons plutonium per year to produce the resulting fuel assemblies: 1.25 tons for the BN-600 reactor FAs and the remaining 1.5 tons for VVER-1000 FAs. It is likely the quantity of BN-600 FAs will be reduced in actual practice. The process of nuclear disarmament frees a significant amount of weapons plutonium for other uses, which, if unutilized, represents a constant general threat. In France, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, and Japan, reactor-grade plutonium is used in MOX-fuel production. Making MOX-fuel for CANDU (Canada) and pressurized water reactors (PWR) (Europe) is under consideration in Russia. If this latter production is added, as many as 5 tons of Pu per year might be processed into new FAs in Russia. Many years of work and experience are represented in the estimates of MOX fuel production wastes derived in this report. Prior engineering studies and sludge treatment investigations and comparisons have determined how best to treat Pu sludges and MOX fuel wastes. Based upon analyses of the production processes established by these efforts, we can estimate that there will be approximately 1200 kg of residual wastes subject to immobilization per MT of plutonium processed, of which approximately 6 to 7 kg is Pu in the residuals per MT of Pu processed. The wastes are various and complicated in composition. Because organic wastes constitute both the major portion of total waste and of the Pu to be immobilized, the recommended treatment of MOX-fuel production waste is incineration or calcination, alkali sintering, and dissolution of sintered products in nitric acid. Insoluble residues are then mixed with vitrifying components and Pu sludges, vitrified, and sent for storage and disposal. Implementation of the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and the United States (US) regarding the utilization of 34 tons of weapons plutonium will also require treatment of Pu containing MOX fabrication wastes at the MCC radiochemical production plant.

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12 pages

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  • Waste Management 2002 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/24/2002--02/28/2002

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  • Report No.: none
  • Grant Number: W-7405-Eng-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 832704
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786147

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • February 26, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 27, 2016, 2:32 p.m.

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Kudinov, K. G.; Tretyakov, A. A.; Sorokin, Yu. P.; Bondin, V. V.; Manakova, L. F. & Jardine, L. J. Estimate of the Sources of Plutonium-Containing Wastes Generated from MOX Fuel Production in Russia, article, February 26, 2002; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786147/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.