Russian test bench for advanced fuel development

9 November 2016

Russia’s Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) under a contract with the AA Bochvar Research Institute of Inorganic Materials (VNIINM) has designed a stand for development of the technology to refine the manufacture of uranium-plutonium-neptunium (U-Pu-Np) fuel. A U-Pu-Np fuel fabrication and recycling facility is planned for the pilot demonstration power complex (ODEK), which is to be built at SCC as part of the Proryv (Breakthrough) project. The project will include a Brest-300 lead-cooled fast reactor supported by on-site fuel manufacturing and recycling to demonstrate the closed nuclear fuel cycle.

The stand will include an extraction-crystallization separation module for processing used nuclear fuel to examine various technologies developed by VNIINM and the VG Khlopin Radium Institute. The results of the tests will be used to develop the Terms of Reference for the design of ODEK.

The test bench, which is now operational, includes a set of unique features such as full automatic control and management of process equipment with remote monitoring. It is equipped with a range of analytical instruments in the immediate vicinity of the laboratory facilities so that the tests can be monitored. Later the stand can be used for developing new technologies for the treatment of U-Pu-Np fuel. By 2020, it is scheduled to undertake three types of research: on extraction, crystallisation, and mathematical modelling of these processes.

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