Technology Upgrade for Russian Nuclear Fuel Production
Russia’s MSZ (Mashinostroitelny Zavod), part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL, has begun producing uranium dioxide powder for fuel pellets using new technology.
A new site has started a pilot operation for the production of uranium dioxide powder by the reduction pyrohydrolysis method (RPGU).
The large-scale investment project will make it possible to replace outdated gas-flame installations for the conversion of uranium hexafluoride with modern equipment, as said TVEL.
“Compared with gas-plasma installations, the new equipment is more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and radiation-safe. The operation of the installation is almost completely automated” said MSZ Technical Director Igor Petrov.
“The implementation of a similar project at MSZ will unify the technology for the production of uranium dioxide powder in the Fuel Division of Rosatom. For us this means increased flexibility and reliability in the implementation of the production programme” said Senior Vice President for Production at TVEL, Mikhail Zarubin.
MSZ is one of the world’s largest producers of fuel for NPPs. The plant produces fuel assemblies for VVER-440, VVER-1000, RBMK-1000, BN-600,800, VK-50, and EGP-6 reactors, as well as powders and fuel pellets for supply to foreign customer and nuclear fuel for research reactors.