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Spent Nuclear Fuel Cladding Removal


Elaboration of Solvometallurgical Method for Chemical Removal of Spent Nuclear Fuel Claddings

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-RAD/Photo and Radiation Chemistry/Chemistry
  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIKhT (Chemical Technology), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Khlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg


  • AREVA / AREVA NC, France, Velizy\nRoyal Institute of Technology / Department of Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Sweden, Stockholm\nCOGEMA, France, Velizy\nFlorida State University, USA, FL, Tallahassee

Project summary

The present Project will cover the elaboration of a new technological method for reprocessing of structural materials of fuel elements (both irradiated and non-irradiated), in particular, for chemical removal of FE claddings, which difference from traditional methods consists in the fact that the medium applied for realization of chemical processes in the mentioned technique is non-aqueous (organic and aqueous-inorganic mediums). The replacement of water by non-aqueous solvent will allow for fundamental changing in existent concept of FE structural material reprocessing by the means of abrupt increase in selectivity of solution processes, reduction of a number of stages thanks to combining of several technological procedures (solution and selective recovery at the same time), elimination of usage and discharge of toxic industrial waters due to solvent regeneration and return into technological cycle.

Practical realization of solvometallurgical techniques will allow to solve really topical problem of FE chemical uncovering without application of power-consuming processes of chopping and cutting, making provision for separate dissolving of cladding and fuel with following transfer of cladding's materials into a compact form suitable for disposal or reuse and fuel components – to further reprocessing. In addition, application of developments realized in accordance with the Project will give support and create outlook for professional activities of scientists and engineers, specialized earlier in development of nuclear-chemical technologies for both solving defense tasks and weapons production.

Implementation of the main tasks considered within the frameworks of the Project will allow:

  • To create theoretical fundamental for the new reprocessing method for structural materials of nuclear-power installations and fuel, i.e. solvometallurgy.
  • To develop fundamentally new resources-sparing and ecologically safe technologies for reprocessing of FE claddings, aimed to obtain conditioned products.
  • To find new ways for reprocessing of nuclear fuel cycle metal waste (particularly, zirconium peel).

Implementation of the Project requires to involve highly skilled experts in the field of production of materials for the purposes of nuclear fuel cycle, radiochemistry, and radioactive waste reprocessing technique, engaged in nuclear weapons production and scientists from Russian Academy of Science, working in the area of Project's problems.

Experts from FGUP VNIICT during many years are engaged in sphere of development and implementation of technologies for atomic engineering materials production and reprocessing. Experts from GUP RPA «V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute» have extensive experience in the field of researches on development and improvement of technologies for nuclear fuel reprocessing plants.

Within the framework of the Project the following forms of cooperation with foreign collaborators are planned: interchange of information obtained in progress of works within the frameworks of the Project; an estimation of technical reports (annual and final); to provide participants of ISTC Project with equipment for joint using; participation in assessment of the results reached in the process of Project realization, assistance in participation in international conferences, holding of joint seminars and meetings.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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