13th International Topical Meeting
on Research Reactor Fuel Management (RRFM)
The 13th annual topical meeting on Research Reactor Fuel Management
(RRFM) took place from 22 - 25 March 2009 in Vienna, Austria.
Vienna Conference Puts Research Reactor Fuel Management In Focus
25 Mar (NucNet): Experts from more than 30 countries have been meeting in Vienna, Austria to discuss critical issues facing research reactor fuel management.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) research reactor group Pablo Adelfang said of the 13th International Topical Meeting on Research Reactor Fuel Management*: “The main issue during this conference is the development of very high density low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, as well as the conversion of the most demanding high-flux research reactors to use LEU instead of highly enriched uranium."
Participants also discussed back-end solutions for spent fuel – such as transportation, final disposal and reprocessing – and shortages of the medical isotope technetium-99m (Tc-99m).
The director-general of the Nuclear Energy Agency, Luis Echávarri, said: “Ninety-five percent of the world’s needs are supplied by only five reactors, all of them over 40 years old. Outages of these reactors and of the downstream processing facilities have recently resulted in significant shortages of Tc-99m.”
*The four-day conference that ends today was organised by the European Nuclear Society in cooperation with the IAEA. Details are available on the IAEA’s web site (http://www.iaea.org).
>>Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers)
Australia’s Opal Back In Operation As IAEA Warns Of Isotope Supply Problems (News No. 90, 10 November 2008)
NRG Gets Permission To Restart Petten Research Reactor (World Nuclear Review No. 7, 13 February 2009)
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Research Reactor Fuel Management Meeting in Vienna Focuses on Non-Proliferation
24 March 2009
This week 230 experts from over 30 countries gather in Vienna, Austria to discuss the most critical issues facing research reactor fuel management.
Operators of the world´s 250 working research reactors are discussing the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) as well as conversion of research reactors to use different fuel. The use of HEU poses a global nuclear proliferation and security risk because it can be used to make nuclear explosives.