Current state and prospects Part 2

The nuclear fuel production division is a Corporation

TVEL, the main enterprises of which are OJSC Mashi-

no-building plant “(Elektrostal, Moscow region) and OJSC

“Novosibirsk plant of chemical concentrates” (Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk-

sky region). Uranium dioxide powder for tablet pressing

are used in the same factories. Zirconium for the manufacture of fuel rods

haunted at JSC “Chepetsk Mechanical Plant” (Glazov, Udmurt

Republic) is the only one in Russia and one of the three largest in

the world of manufacturers of products from zirconium and its alloys.

TVEL Corporation is a monopoly supplier of nuclear

fuel for all Russian nuclear power plants, as well as for all transport, industrial

research and development reactors in our country. At the same time TVEL products are widely known abroad – fuel

from a Russian manufacturer is supplied to 76 nuclear reactors in

14 countries of the world, the geography of which is constantly expanding. So, TVEL is the only supplier of fresh nuclear fuel for

NPPs in Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine and Slovakia, and also supplies it

to all European countries where nuclear power plants were built, operating on

tori of Russian design. Today TVEL Corporation leaves

to the world market with a new type of fuel assemblies intended

for servicing nuclear power plants of western design. Annual export volume

of the company exceeds $ 1 billion, the share of the global nuclear fuel market is

VA – 17%, it is planned to increase it to 25-30%.

In addition to finished fuel assemblies, TVEL Corporation ex-

also ports nuclear fuel components – for example, fuel

pills. In addition, TVEL is working to create a fundamental

but a new type of mixed uranium-plutonium fuel (the so-called

mogo “MOX-fuel”), which would significantly simplify

the problem of providing the nuclear industry with raw materials and significantly reducing

the amount of waste in the industry.

Rosenergoatom Concern OJSC is a sales division

production of electricity at nuclear power plants and combines

all 10 Russian nuclear power plants, as well as the directorates of plants under construction. Hedgehog

annually Russian nuclear power plants produce about 158 ​​billion.

kWh of electricity (16% of the country’s electricity production). When

this is the annual unloading of spent nuclear fuel from domestic

n power plants is only 850 tons.

The plans for the development of nuclear power in Russia are detailed in

corresponding chapter.

SNF storage and / or reprocessing facilities – FSUE “Proiz-

water association “Mayak” (Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region) and

Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Mining and Chemical Combine” (Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk

region) – are not part of JSC Atomenergoprom. PA Mayak is

reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, and at the Mining and Chemical

the plant is completing the construction of a new “dry” storage for

SNF. The development of nuclear energy in our country, apparently,

entails an increase in the scale of enterprises dealing with

Spent nuclear fuel, especially since the development strategies of the nuclear power

th complex of Russia imply the implementation of a closed nuclear

fuel cycle using purified uranium and plutonium,

divided from irradiated fuel.

To date, SNF reprocessing plants operate only in four countries of the world – Russia, France, Great Britain and Japan.

The only operating plant in Russia – RT-1 at PA Mayak – has

has a design capacity of 400 tons of spent nuclear fuel per year, although now its

loading does not exceed 150 tons per year; plant RT-2 (1500 tons per year) at

The Mining and Chemical Combine is at the stage of frozen construction

bodies. There are currently two such plants in operation in France (UP-2

and UP-3 at Cape La Hue) with a total capacity of 1,600 tonnes per year.

By the way, these factories process not only French fuel

nuclear power plants, multibillion-dollar contracts for its processing

ku with energy companies in Germany, Japan, Switzerland and other countries.

The UK has a Thorp plant with a capacity of 1200

tons per year. In Japan, there is a plant located in

Rokkase-Mura, with a capacity of 800 tons of spent nuclear fuel per year; There are also

pilot plant in Tokai-Mura (90 tons per year).

Thus, the world’s leading nuclear powers adhere to

the idea of ​​”closing” the nuclear fuel cycle, which is gradually becoming

becomes economically profitable in the face of rising prices for uranium mining,

associated with the transition to the development of less rich deposits with

low uranium content in the ore.


You may have noticed that in this chapter we did not touch

issues of production and processing of nuclear fuel research

tel reactors, as well as reactors installed on nuclear sub-

water boats and surface vessels. Our entire discussion was devoted to

for nuclear fuel used in nuclear power plants.

However, this was not done by accident. The fact is that the principled

significant differences between the sequence of fuel production for

Nuclear power plants and, for example, nuclear submarines are simply absent. End-

but, there may be deviations in technology associated with the specifics of the

power and research reactors. For example, the first ones should be

small in size and, at the same time, quite powerful (half-

not a natural requirement for an icebreaker and, moreover, a maneuverable

nuclear submarine). This can be achieved by increasing the enrichment

uranium, i.e. increasing the concentration of fissile nuclei. This is exactly how it was

pyat – the degree of enrichment of uranium used as fuel

ship reactors is several tens of percent. In research in development reactors, a common requirement is to achieve

the maximum power of the neutron flux, and the number of neutrons in the

actor is also directly related to the number of fissile nuclei. Therefore in

reactors intended for scientific research are also used

highly enriched uranium. But the enrichment technology from this does not

is changing.

The design of the reactor can determine the chemical composition of the fuel and

material from which the fuel element is made. Currently, the main

The chemical form of the fuel is uranium dioxide UO 2 . Concerning

fuel rods, then they are mainly zirconium, but, for example, for

torus on fast neutrons BN-600 produce fuel rods from stainless

become. This is due to the use of liquid sodium in BN reactors

as a coolant in which zirconium is destroyed (corroded

swells) faster than stainless steel. However, the essence of the process

the fabrication of nuclear fuel remains the same – from enriched hexa-

uranium safluoride UF 6 synthesize uranium dioxide powder UO 2 , which

ry is pressed into tablets and sintered, tablets are placed in fuel rods, fuel rods

collected in fuel assemblies.

Moreover, if we consider nuclear fuel cycles

different countries, it turns out, for example, that in Russia uranium oxides

fluorinated with molecular fluorine directly, and abroad firstly

work with hydrofluoric acid and only then with fluorine. The difference is

can be found in the chemical composition of leaching agents and

extractants used for fuel processing, parameters of

conducting processes, etc. But the scheme of the nuclear fuel cycle from this

does not change. The fundamental difference lies only between its

covered (open) and closed versions: in the first case, we

one hundred we isolate the fuel from the environment in a deep repository, and

in the latter, we process it with the extraction of valuable components

(Fig. 3.11).

Figure 3.11 – Simplified diagram of the nuclear fuel cycle

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