Russia opens depleted hex reprocessing plant

18 December 2009

JSC PO Electrochemical Plant, an Atomenergoprom company has commissioned Russia's first commercial plant to reprocess depleted hexafluoride into uranium oxide concentrate. The plant uses Areva NC technology and the pyrohydrolysis method to convert the depleted hex (UF6) into hydrofluoric acid and U3O8, which can be used to produce fuel for fast neutron reactors.

The contract to set up the depleted uranium hexafluoride reprocessing unit with the design capacity of 10,000 tons per year at ECP site was signed in Moscow, March 2005, between JSC TENEX and PO ECP (both JSC Atomenergoprom’s affiliates) on the Russian part, and Areva NC and Societe General pour les Techniques Nouvelles engineering company (SGN, Areva integrated) from the French part.

In accordance with the contract Areva NC and SGN provided design, fabrication and shipment of the equipment from France, its installation supervision, adjustment, and training for JSC PO ECP personnel. The technology was transferred to JSC PO ECP giving it the exclusive right to reproduce the major equipment and design documentation of the unit, which will enable Russian firms to manufacture part of the equipment for similar units at Russian factories.

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