Category Archives: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities for. Converting U. S. and Russian Research Reactors

MAINTAINING PERFORMANCE AND MISSIONS

Two presentations discussing performance and missions of reactors after conversion were given by Panel 2.1 speakers: Jordi Roglans (Argonne National Laboratory) provided a U. S. viewpoint on maintaining perfor­mance and missions (Roglans, 2011), and A. L. Petelin (Research Institute of Atomic Reactors [RIAR]) provided a description of several Russian research reactors at RIAR and their missions (Svyatkin et al., 2011).

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NEW RESEARCH REACTOR CASE STUDY: THE JULES HOROWITZ REACTOR

P. Lemoine The Jules Horowitz Reactor (JHR) is a 100 MW multipurpose ma­terials testing reactor that was commissioned to replace another reactor, OSIRIS, which was built in the 1960s. JHR was initially designed to operate with a new high-density LEU fuel; however, because of difficulties in the development and qualification of this fuel, the reactor will begin operation with HEU […]

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Overview

H ighly enriched uranium (HEU) is used for two major civilian pur­poses: as fuel for research reactors and as targets for medical isotope production. This material can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Stolen or diverted HEU can be used—in conjunction with some knowledge of physics—to build nuclear explosive devices. Thus, the con­tinued civilian use of HEU is of concern […]

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Reactor Conversion Case Studies

S ession 3 of the symposium focused on technical challenges associated with conversion of specific U. S. and Russian reactors. Eight case stud­ies of individual research reactors’ potential for conversion—three U. S. reactors and five Russian reactors—were presented in this session. These presentations and some key thoughts from the participant discussions are summarized in this chapter.

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Fuel Design for Russian-Origin Reactors. Yu. S. Cherepnin

Most Russian research and test reactors use HEU fuels consisting of UO2-aluminum dispersions fabricated as thin-walled tubular elements of various enrichments and configurations. A Russian program was started in the 1990s to further reduce the enrichment of fuel used in Russian-origin research reactors that are located outside of the Russian Federation. This work has been led by three Russian organizations […]

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Future Plans and Projected Results of Conversion

Once the UMo monolithic LEU fuel is qualified, MITR has a number of future plans to prepare for conversion that draw on the technical work described in the previous sections. First, a preliminary safety analysis report will be prepared and approved prior to conversion. Second, because the fuel fabrication requirements are unique to the MITR reactor, fuel manufactur­ing tolerances will […]

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Descriptions of Russian Research Reactors

A. L. Petelin The Russian presentation focused on current characteristics and mis­sions of the research reactors at RIAR in Dimitrovgrad. RIAR is Russia’s largest complex for examinations of full-scale components of nuclear reac­tors and irradiated materials. It also has equipment and facilities for fuel cycle research and a radiochemical complex for investigation and produc­tion of transuranic elements and radioisotopes.

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METHODS TO IMPROVE THE ASSESSMENT OF THE RISKS POSED BY HEU-FUELED RESEARCH REACTORS

If research reactors will continue to be needed in the foreseeable future it is important to understand as clearly as possible their risks. As noted previously, conversion of research reactors from HEU to LEU lowers risk. However, some reactors may not be able to be converted, so it is important to understand the risks associated with their continuing operation. This […]

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Introduction and Background

T his report is a summary of a joint symposium held on June 8-10, 2011, by the National Research Council (NRC) of the U. S. National Acad­emies and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) on progress, chal­lenges, and opportunities for converting United States and Russian Federation (R. F.) research reactors1 from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) […]

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