Russia’s Production Association Mayak has signed a contract with the Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC) at Zheleznogorsk for the construction of a complex for the management of used nuclear fuel from the AMB reactors at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant.

The cost of the work is RUB2.5 billion ($34m), according to Rosatom’s public procurement website. Both organisations are part of Rosatom.

According to the terms of reference, the contractor must build the facility on the site of plant 235 at Mayak. The work will have to be carried out “in conditions of increased ionising radiation”. The design capacity will be more than 40 tons a year of used nuclear fuel prepared for reprocessing. MCC must complete the work by August 2024.

The complex is being built as part of the Federal Target Programme "Ensuring Nuclear and Radiation Safety for 2016-2020 and for the Period up to 2030".

The AMB reactors (Atom Peaceful Bolshoi) are water-graphite channel reactors. Units 1&2 at the Beloyarsk site were AMB-100 and AMB-200 units, among the world’s first power reactors, which operated until the end of the 1980s.

After the units were shut down, some the fuel was transported to the Mayak and some was stored in on-site reactor pools. There are currenlty more than 100 tons of used assemblies are in the storage pool at Mayak. As decommissioning of the units continues hazardous cargo will be delivered to Mayak until 2025.

For the construction of the complex, Mayak will be able to use raw materials produced on site. In January, the company put into operation a new concrete plant. It will work around the clock and all year round, delivering up to 50 cubic metres of concrete per hour.