Siberian facility to reprocess 38000 tonnes of nuclear waste

In Russia, the first phase of a centralized interim storage facility (ISF) has been completed at the Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC) at Zheleznogorsk near Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.

Used fuel will be stored in a 'dry' interim storage facility.

In the first phase of the project, which began in December, 8129 tons of used fuel from RBMK-1000 reactors from power plants in Leningrad, Kursk and Smolensk will be stored.

Currently, fuel from these plants is stored in water-filled pools at the power plant site, but these pools are now reaching full capacity. The first phase of the ISF will be at full capacity in eight to 10 years, according to estimates.

The dry nuclear fuel storage as used at the ISF has advantages over the wet pool storage method, as it does not require pools and the casks in which the fuel is stored can withstand major impacts and temperature changes.

Used fuel will be stored at the ISF for up to 50 years and will eventually contain 38,000 tons. During this time major advances in reprocessing and plans for a geological repository for high-level radioactive waste will be made.

Rosatom (Moscow) spokesman Sergei Novikov said that Russia currently reprocesses about 16 per cent of annual used fuel production and that the country has set a target to reprocess all used fuel generated by 2020, the Moscow Times reported.

For more nuclear waste management news



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