The first serial batch of nuclear gasoline assemblies for BN-800 quick neutron reactor with combined uranium-and-plutonium MOX gasoline has efficiently handed acceptance commissioning. The gasoline pellets are manufactured from a combination of oxides of depleted uranium accrued at amenities of TVEL Fuel Company of ROSATOM, and oxides of plutonium extracted throughout reprocessing of spent nuclear gasoline.
Industrial manufacturing of MOX gasoline at Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC, Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk area) has been arrange underneath the Federal Target Program, Next Generation Nuclear Power Technologies for 2010–2015 with the outlook until 2020. In order to determine the gasoline fabrication facility at MCC, a large nuclear trade cooperation was established, with the coordination function of TVEL. The fundamental know-how for manufacturing of MOX gasoline pellets by mixing powders and making use of swirl disintegration with additional urgent and sintering was developed by the Bochvar Institute (comprised in TVEL Fuel Company of ROSATOM).
‘The begin of MOX gasoline manufacturing for BN-800 is a vital milestone for fixing the strategic process of building the closed nuclear gasoline cycle, in addition to double-component nuclear energy trade which would come with each thermal and quick neutron reactors. Involvement of the massive inventory of depleted uranium and bred plutonium into the gasoline cycle would allow enlargement of the useful resource base of nuclear energy trade and discount of pure uranium consumption,’ commented Konstantin Vergazov, Head of the commercial working group for reaching the projected indicators in MOX gasoline manufacturing, Senior Vice President of TVEL JSC for R&D, know-how and high quality.
According to specialists’ evaluation, contents of U-238 isotope in pure uranium deposits is about 99.three%, whereas contents of uranium U-235 (it’s used for initiation of managed fission chain response) is simply zero.7%. Currently, thermal neutron reactors which comprise the bottom of up to date nuclear energy trade eat about 1% of the extracted pure uranium, the remaining 99% is forwarded to short-term storage, or disposed because the radioactive waste.
Fast neutron reactors fuelled by combined oxides of uranium and plutonium would breed sufficient plutonium for personal wants and producing a specific amount of gasoline for different reactors. Recycling of spent nuclear gasoline and fabrication of recent bundles with uranium-and-plutonium combination is estimated to ramp up dramatically the quantity of electrical energy which may very well be doubtlessly generated utilizing pure uranium assets (roughly hundred-fold).
Commercial operation of the fourth energy unit of Beloyarsk NPP with BN-800 quick neutron reactor was launched in 2016. The reactor facility is aimed toward elaborating applied sciences for closing the nuclear gasoline cycle, together with full load of MOX gasoline within the reactor core. (Source: Rosatom – Image: World Nuclear Organization)
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