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Plutonium Utilization in Nuclear Reactors


Process Development for Utilization of Civil and Military Plutonium in Fast and Thermal Reactors with Account for Ecology and Economics Requirements

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-FUC/Fuel Cycle/Fission Reactors

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Tocheny L V

Leading Institute
All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Non-Organic Materials named after A. Bochvar, Russia, Moscow


  • COGEMA, France, Velizy\nEuropean Commission / Joint Research Center / Institute for Transuranium Elements, Germany, Karlsruhe\nBritish Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL), UK, Chesire, Risley Warrington\nPower Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC), Japan, Tokyo\nSiemens AG, Germany, Hanau\nBelgonucléaire, Belgium, Brussels

Project summary

Large amounts of military nuclear active materials, viz., plutonium and enriched uranium, are recovered as a result of large-scale elimination of nuclear weapons. Today the need in those materials for peaceful uses is limited; most promising and plutoni-um intensive direction is plutonium utilization as fuel in fast and thermal power reactors. Mixed U-Pu oxide (MOX) fuel is under consideration now.

To accomplish the task of developing process of a large-scale use of plutonium recovered from nuclear warheads for the purposes of nuclear power one has to resolve several scientific and technical problems the principal of which are:

- development of economically efficient technology to convert large amounts of plutonium metal to its dioxide for MOX;

- development of more compact and perfect process flow outline top-roduce low dust granules of ceramic grade MOX;

- improvements of the technology for producing higher quality MOX cores of extended burn-up and improved serviceability;

- development of technology for reprocessing wastes arising in the whole process cycle.

To implement the project highly qualified experts are to be employed that are working in the area of weapon developments and production, investigation of plutonium properties and the tech-nology of its compound preparation which, on the one hand, will pro mote the high scientific level of the prpposed project and, on the other hand, civil reorientation of scientists.


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