IAEA experts: Russia has the world's best technologies of SNF treatment

IAEA experts: Russia has the world

The latest technology of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) safe handling developed and implemented by Russian nuclear scientists are unique and surpass foreign...

The latest technology of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) safe handling developed and implemented by Russian nuclear scientists are unique and surpass foreign analogues, foreign industry experts believe.

International IAEA workshop, at which the issues of ensuring environmental safety of SNF treatment were discussed,waheld in Division of the company TVEL (a member of the State Corporation Rosatom), the Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC, Zheleznogorsk), presented its experience of safe SNF treatment using nuclear fuel cycle closure at the workshop.
"The uniqueness of the Mining and Chemical Combine is that facilities for production, storage, regeneration and fabrication of nuclear fuel are compactly concentrated in one place. I would also like to note the technology of radiochemical reprocessing of spent fuel without liquid wastes in a pilot center of MCC. This is a new concept, and it can work much better than technologies that are used in France and in the UK," said the German expert on radiation safety Olaf Nietzsche, whose words are quoted by the corporate newspaper "Vestnik GKhK".
MCC is a leading Rosatom's enterprise providing full technological complex in the area of nuclear power reactors' SNF treatment and nuclear fuel cycle closure. Three production areas are concentrated at the combine: spent nuclear fuel storage, its recycling and production of new nuclear MOX fuel for fast-neutron reactors.
"Dry" storage of MCC is the only facility for spent nuclear fuel in the world cooled by air. This method is much safer and more cost effective than SNF storage technologies used abroad.
At the end of this year it is planned to put into operation a start-up complex of the world's most modern pilot demonstration center at MCC, where the latest technologies for spent nuclear fuel treatment required for nuclear fuel cycle closure will be tested. The main feature of these technologies is the complete absence of liquid low-level radioactive waste.
Thus, MCC will have a unique opportunity to prove in practice that the processing of nuclear materials is possible without environmental damage.
Ecologists should be all in favor of fast reactors, because they burn long-lived actinides, which are of major concern for society. This task was a hard nut to crack both for the French and the British. But there is no future without it. The task, which MCC's MOX plant solves today, creating fuel for fast reactors, is a noble, civilized task", — said the specialist of the Department of Nuclear Energy of the IAEA Michael Ojovan, quoted by the publication.
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