In connection with the decision to end operation of Bilibino NPP, its reactors are due to be shut down for good starting in 2019. Rosatom Corporation identified reprocessing at Mayak as the final stage of management for this kind of spent fuel. In order to select the route, mode of transport and transport overpacks to be used, an assessment and comparison had to be performed of radiation risks that may occur during the performance of associated operations.
M.Orlov, A. Detkina, M. Nekhozhin, S. Semenovykh, E. Yatschenko
Experts of Sosny R&D Company and the Kurskaya NPP verified the conformity of the shielding of the SFA disassembling division of the annex to the SNF storage facility with the project requirements. The work was aimed at revealing and eliminating all possible defects before the cell commissioning in order to reduce external exposure to the personnel.
P. Bogatov, B. Kanashov, A. Samsonov (Sosny R&D Company), A. Zubkov, T. Listratova, A. Rodin, V. Sokolov (OJSC ECNC)
The paper gives a description of an untight ampoule designed for the transport of fuel rod bundles (FRB) of non-conforming and conditionally tight spent fuel assemblies from the RBMK-1000 reactor. The ampoule is designed to ensure safety of the FRB preparatory and transport operations. The paper also focuses on the new basket for ordered arrangement of the ampoules in a cask and their safe transport.
The Company’s main activities are developments and research in the field of nuclear power engineering.
The Sosny Company copes with non-standard tasks of handling spent nuclear fuel from power, research and propulsion reactors in Russia and abroad.
The Sosny Research and Development Company was established in 1992 as a partnership to support post-irradiation examinations (PIE) of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) of power-grade reactors in shielded cells at the SSC RIAR material testing facility. Primarily, the work included delivery of irradiated SFAs from Russian and Ukrainian NPPs to the PIE facility. The Company was able to invariably supply objects of research to the PIE facility for more than 15 years due to the effectiveness of the proposed logistical solutions and low cost.
Initially, Sosny used many years’ experience of its employees for SFA post-irradiation examinations, since manufacturers and developers of new fuels for VVER and RBMK reactors needed data to understand the fuel behavior under normal, transient and accident conditions. Moreover, the material testing facility needed new non-standard methods for SNF research and testing.
Sosny’s clients were customers of SNF post-irradiation examinations: first, nuclear fuel manufacturers, and then, TVEL OJSC.
Handling of nearly all types of reactors (power-grade, research, propulsion), especially storage, transportation and reprocessing issues, had forged into the lead by 2003. While the nuclear industry has a smoothly running system of handling the spent fuel, non-standard situations requiring special approaches based on the knowledge of its behavior may yet arise. These include the following challenges, Sosny has been coping with:
Elimination of consequences of the fuel destruction at the Paks NPP,
Preparation and removal of the RA reactor SNF from Vinca Institute, Serbia to Russia,
Assessment of a feasibility and practicality of reprocessing non-conforming RBMK SNF at Mayak PA,
Improving safety of storage conditions for the spent fuel from the EGP-6 reactors at the Bilibino NPP,
Preparation of the AMB-100 and AMB-200 reactor SNF for transportation and reprocessing at Mayak PA.
Removal of the spent fuel from SSC IPPE.
The Company is particularly focused on the International Program on Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return (RRRFR) aimed at consolidation and conversion of highly enriched uranium (HEU). Before the program was launched, the Company had already had reactor physicists and nuclear and radiation safety experts in its staff with long experience at research reactor facilities. The Sosny experts develop procedures and equipment for loading spent fuel assemblies into casks, train facility personnel in handling the casks, obtain necessary approvals and prepare safety assessment documents. Numerous tasks have been performed under the RRRFR program:
Certification of foreign packages in the Russian Federation: SKODA VPVR/M (2005), CASTOR MTR (10),
Development of an overpack for transportation of Russian TUK-19 cask nu different conveyances, including aircraft,
Modernization of a vessel for SNF transportation,
Development of a transfer cask for loading spent fuel assemblies into Russian casks TUK-19 casks,
Development of a Type C package for the transport of radioactive material with no restrictions on activity by different transport modes including aircrafts.
Leading experts have 15-30-year experience (research into spent nuclear fuel, operation of research reactors). The Company has a big staff of design and process engineers, logistics and electronics engineers, programmers, economists, lawyers, and translators. As of beginning 2012, the total number of the employees was 190. Most of the employees graduated from leading Russian institutes of Moscow, S.Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Ulyanovsk and Tomsk. The headquarters are in Moscow, and the branch offices are in Dimitrovgrad and Elekrostal.
The Sosny binds its prospects with tackling SNF management tasks in the Russian fuel cycle and is planning to participate in relevant Rosatom and Rosenergoatom tenders. We make our living by doing real research and development as stated in the Statute of the Company.