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Research reactor fuel

Fuel assemblies (FA) for research reactors are used to carry out scientific and research experiments in nuclear physics, radiative study of materials, and biology; in neutron radiography and neutron activation analysis; in radiation therapy; for educational purposes; in irradiation of targets for the production of medical and industrial isotopes.

The following compositions can be used as a fuel: uranium dioxide which is diffused in the aluminum matrix (UO2+Al) by methods of powder metallurgy with uranium concentration up to 4,0 g/cm3; uranium silicide (U3Si2+Al) with uranium concentration up to 4,8 g/cm3.

High-density fuel designs and manufacturing processes are being developed, based on uranium-molybdenum (UMo) alloys. This will make it possible to increase uranium concentration in the fuel elements over 5 g/cm3.

In the fuel assemblies fabricated for the Russian research reactors, U-235 enrichment can vary from 19.7% to 90%, subject to characteristics of a specific reactor. As for the foreign research reactors of the Russian design, enrichment of the fuel assemblies in U-235 is 19.7%.

Production processes are adopted for fabrication of MTR fuel assemblies with plate-type fuel elements for research reactors of the Western design.

Finished fuel assemblies are delivered to customers in transportation packagings complying with IAEA regulations by all modes of transport including air shipment.