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1:43 PM  October 14, 2021

Rosatom confirms use of SNF from France at SCP after reprocessing

© РИА Томск. Павел СтефанскийRosatom confirms use of SNF from France at SCP after reprocessing

TOMSK, Oct 14 – RIA Tomsk. Spent nuclear fuel (SNF), which will be to Russia from France, will be used at the Siberian Chemical Plant in the Tomsk region already in processed form, uranium-plutonium fuel pellets for SCP will be supplied by the Zhelznogorsk mining and chemical combine, according to a Rosatom release published on Thursday on the company's website.

Earlier, the Greenpeace website published information about the importation of regenerated uranium into Siberia at the end of 2021. It will be imported by the Orano company. The fuel is the result of reprocessing spent uranium from French nuclear power plants. Greenpeace considers the imported recovered uranium not as raw material for producing new nuclear fuel, but as "nuclear waste," which it is forbidden to bring into Russia. On October 13, activists held a protest against the contract.

"Supplies of regenerated uranium from France to Russia are aimed at its further use in the nuclear power industry of Russia, it will reduce the environmental burden of the nuclear industry and will also help solve the problems of sustainable development. <...> The use of regenerated uranium will save as much natural uranium as would have had to be mined for several years," Rosatom's position is quoted in the release.

The contract with Orano calls for the supply of regenerated uranium "for the internal needs of the Russian nuclear power industry. The regenerated uranium will be used as raw material in nuclear fuel production programs at the facilities of Rosatom's fuel company TVEL," the state corporation explained. The SNF will be used at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station, the SCP and Mining and Chemical Combine (Zheleznogorsk).

"The Siberian Chemical Combine has already commissioned equipment at the sites where pilot fuel assemblies with plutonium-uranium REMIX fuel for the VVER-1000 reactor are manufactured. Fabrication of the first REMIX fuel assemblies (fuel elements - Ed.) is being done in cooperation with the Mining and Chemical Combine (Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai), which has started production of plutonium-uranium fuel pellets," reads the press release.

According to Rosatom's website, the SCP commissioned equipment at sites that manufacture pilot fuel pellets with plutonium-uranium REMIX fuel for VVER-1000 reactors. The fuel rods based on REMIX-fuel will be produced in the TVS-2M design (one of the basic fuel designs for VVER-1000). Fabrication of the first REMIX fuel assemblies is organized in cooperation with Mining and Chemical Combine. The first batch has already passed the incoming inspection at the SCP.

It was previously reported that the production of fuel rods with the new nuclear REMIX fuel was mastered at the SCP in 2016. It was also reported that it was decided to create a Center for research and development of technologies for working with mixed nitride uranium-plutonium fuel on the basis of the Mining and Chemical Combine, which was liquidated in 2017 and was engaged in disposal of special products and reprocessing and purification of highly enriched weapon-grade uranium, at the SCP.

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