United States Government funded national security nuclear non-proliferation projects have historically focused on power reactor spent fuel assemblies that contain weapons usable materials. More recently concern and emphasis have been focused on the spent fuel located at the many research reactor facilities spread throughout the Former Soviet Union. The need exists for a mobile system that can be deployed at these research reactors for the purpose of ensuring that the nuclear materials cannot be used for weapons development. On-site application of the Mobile Melt-Dilute (MMD) process offers an economical method for converting weapons usable Former Soviet Union high enriched uranium research reactor fuel to a safe and secure low enriched uranium ingot. The process will generate little waste and will be performed in a sealed canister that will contain all off-gas products generated during the melting process, eliminating the need for an off-gas treatment system. The process is modular, reusable, and readily portable to a desired reactor site or storage location. The storage canisters containing the melted ingot can be configured for compatibility with the fuel storage technologies currently available or returned to Russia for reprocessing under the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return Program. The objective of the MMD Project is to develop the mobile melt and dilute technology in preparation for active deployment at Russian built and fueled research reactors. The project has just completed conceptual design and is beginning proof of principle experiments and integrated prototype design of the furnace and canister.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
The Development of Mobile Melt-Dilute Technology for the Treatment of Former Soviet Union Research Reactor Fuel
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Sell, DA, Howden, EA, Allen, KJ, Marsden, K, Westphal, BR, Peacock, HB, Iyer, NC, Fisher, DL, Adams, TM, & Sindelar, RL. "The Development of Mobile Melt-Dilute Technology for the Treatment of Former Soviet Union Research Reactor Fuel." Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. 12th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Volume 3. Arlington, Virginia, USA. April 25–29, 2004. pp. 245-251. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE12-49550
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