Decreasing HEU Stocks and Use at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering

Igor P. Matveenko, Valery Ya. Poplavko, Gennady M. Pshakin, "Decreasing HEU Stocks and Use at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering," Science & Global Security, 21, no. 3, (2013): 197-209.

One legacy of the Soviet nuclear program is great quantities of high enriched uranium (HEU) that were used in different research programs. The Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE), founded in 1946, was (and still is) actively involved in nuclear energy development and application, including fast breeder, naval propulsion and space power reactors. IPPE built a special experimental complex containing critical assemblies and research reactors. During 50 years of research activities, a great quantity of HEU fuel was accumulated. Some of the HEU is still used in critical assemblies, notably BFS (Fast Physical Stand) and a considerable amount of material remains in storage. Some HEU has been shipped off for blend-down and some could be used to fabricate new fuel with reduced enrichment levels. This article describes the issues related to reducing the use of HEU in IPPE research facilities-especially for the BFS critical assemblies.

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