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Burnable Poison for Portable Reactors


The Development and Creation of Articles of a Burnable Poison on the Basis of the Boron-10 Isotope-Alloyed Stainless Steel

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-ISO/Isotopes/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-MAT/Materials/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • FM Consultants Associates, France, Alairac\nUniversity of Florida / Laboratory for Development of Advanced Nuclear Fuels and Materials, USA, FL, Gainesville

Project summary

The objective of this project is to perform research and development work on the creation of plates for a burnable poison on the basis of boron-10 isotope-alloyed stainless austenitic steel for small-size portable reactors.

The burnable poison is supposed to help to decrease the overall dimensions and mass of such reactors. Boron-10 has been selected due to its superior nuclear properties; while the introduction of the burnable poison as steel plates into the fuel assemblies most reasonable of all the known technical solutions to its usage. By using boron-10 up to 0.6 of fraction of total mass % (>98at%10B) as an alloy additive, steel keeps its physico-mechanical, thermophysical and corrosive properties.

The work on the project will be performed at the GTU. Leading scientific workers having an experience with technology development as well as material scientific investigations belong to the Institute. They represent the main body of the project team. 5 of them have scientific ranks.

The following should be regarded as major expected final results:

  1. The developed precise technology of short-scale making of the boron-10 isotope-alloyed stainless austenitic steel (alloyage up to 0.6 mass%). At the same time, the preset composition of the base components, the precise dosage of boron-10 isotope by means of the preliminarily prepared master alloy, and the selection of the process conditions, and boron isotopes homogeneous distribution in the steel matrix should be reached.
  2. The developed precise technology of the hot conversion (forging, rolling, thermal treatment) of the ingots under production should provide on opportunity for producing plates (strips) 150 mm thick and over, at least 300 mm long and 20 mm wide, of hard-to-deform boron steel. The above results can basically be obtained by using boron isotope as an alloy additive, homogenizing thermal treatment, knowing the material's deformability.
  3. The methods developed as a result of the physico-mechanical, thermo-physical, corrosive and nuclear properties investigations and tests. Some of them are quite unique in their field. All the above results have the prospects of being independently applied in various areas: (science, the industry) while as a whole they should ensure the basic anticipated result the manufacture of the documented experimental lot of the burnable poison. The developed technologies application in the industry must be reflected in the documents.

13 scientists and engineers of previous weapon expertise participate in the project. The proposed project provides an opportunity for continuing our ability to be reoriented to peaceful activities. The project supports as well earlier applied peaceful investigations, including nuclear reactor safety. The integration of the scientists and engineers of the GTU into the International Science Community is encouraged. The project sustains the actual prospects of setting up a joint venture with a foreign firm, thereby transmitting to the market economy.

The scope of the work is represented by four tasks. Each task – the development of the technologies of making boron-10 isotope-alloyed stainless steel and its hot conversion to produce articles as plates (strips), the complex investigations and tests of the burnable poison – comprises the characteristic milestones of the research and development work.

It is intended to choose foreign collaborators at the time of considering the project. Their interest will provide the opportunity for exchanging information during implementation of the project, commenting the technical reports, using jointly the equipment and materials under production, checking the results and the technical control of the project activities, joint attendance to conferences, workshops and participation in publications.

The technical approach and methodology have been preconditioned by the objective of the project, its scope and expected final results.

The equipment and facilities used earlier to conduct the research and development work on boron materials, is available at the GTU. A number of methods have been developed for material science and powder metallurgy (hot and cold rolling, grinding, the investigation of the technologic properties of powders), for the structure investigations (X-ray diffraction, mass spectrometric, spectral and chemical analyses, microscopy), and for the investigation of the physico-mechanical, thermo-physical, nuclear, corrosive, and other properties. In a number of cases, it will be necessary that new methods be developed, including those related to the nuclear investigations.


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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