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Plutonium Transmutation Facility


Experimental Mock-Up of Accelerators-Based Facility for Transmutation of Radioactive Waste and Conversion of Military Plutonium.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kondratenkov Yu B

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • CEA / DRN / DER / CEN Cadarache, France, Cadarache\nCEA / DSM / DAPNIA/CEN Saclay, France, Saclay\nRoyal Institute of Technology / Institute of Physics, Sweden, Stockholm

Project summary

In 1994 ISTC approved Project #017. Its goal was a feasibility study of accelerator-based facility for transmutation of long-lived radioactive waste and conversion of Military plutonium. The results obtained by now (February 1996) have shown the feasibility of creating such facility and enabled to choose the most promising concepts for detailed analysis. The basic point of the chosen concept is use of molten nuclear fuel (based on molten metal fluorides with plutonium and other transmutated materials as additives).

The activities on ISTC Project #017 were carried out in collaboration with several Russian institutions. VNIITF was responsible for the molten-salt direction. Implementation of Project # #017 resulted in collaboration of some Russian institutes competent in this field and program of further activities on development of the molten-salt blanket. The most important point of this program is construction of rather large-scale experimental molten-salt loop (the salt mass is 100-200 kg). The goal of the proposed project is construction of such a facility at VNIITF.

Construction of the molten-salt loop which is a small-size mock-up of the blanket and experimentation on it allow to verify the basic technical solutions proposed for the blanket design, to perform structural material tests, to work out the key issues of the technology (for example, welding), to perform a large number of heat-hydraulic tests necessary for substantiation of full-scale facility and demo experiment.

Technical approach used in the work is based on application of small-scale model of designed facility for performing simulations, theoretical, design and experimental research in mastering the molten-salt technology as applied to the accelerator-based transmutation facility. Simulation of the real physical processes at a small-scale experimental facility is widely used in science and engineering. Such approach allows to decrease drastically the research expenditures and to reduce risk at designing the full-scale facility.

Potential Role of Foreign Collaborators

All project activities are proposed to be done in close collaboration with Los-Alamos National Laboratory (USA) and Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), which will be the foreign collaborators.

Recently we see the increasing interest towards feasibility study for using molten-salt nuclear fuel in accelerator-based facilities for transmutation of radioactive waste and Military plutonium conversion. Therefore, this project may be of interest for representatives of European Community and Japan also.


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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