Repatriation of VinčaRA Reactor Spent Fuel The 15th International Symposium on the Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive Materials PATRAM-2007 21-26 October, 2007 Miami, FL USA Ed Bradley, Milan Pešić, John Kelly, Pablo Adelfang, Ira Goldman, and Dario Jinchuk
VIND Vinča Institute Nuclear Decommissioning (VIND) Program – initiated by Serbian government in 2004 • repackage and ship spent fuel, • improve radioactive waste storage at the Vinča Institute, and • begin decommissioning of the RA research reactor and the radioactive waste storage hanger 1. IAEA support for VIND is being implemented in 3 closely integrated Technical Cooperation (TC) projects.
Safe management of radioactive waste The Vinča Institute remains the central waste storage and processing facility for Serbia and historically from the former Yugoslavia • More than 4,000 sealed and unsealed sources, • Depleted and natural uranium, • Other safeguarded material. IAEA TC project SRB3003 is working to address these challenges as well as the safe & effective management of waste generated from fuel repatriation and decommissioning work.
Decommissioning the RA reactor IAEA TC project SRB3002 provides support for decommissioning the Vinča RA research reactor by completing: • Facility characterization and • Detailed decommissioning plans, Removal of contaminated structures will commence following the removal of spent nuclear fuel from the RA reactor building. Funding does not currently exist for decommissioning and dismantlement of these facilities. At the present time, Vinča senior management and the IAEA are exploring options for “incremental decommissioning” of the RA reactor ($0.5M to $4M per donor)
Safe removal of spent fuel IAEA TC project SRB4002 supports the stabilization, preparation and transport of spent fuel from the Vinča RA research reactor to the Russian Federation • 8,030 TVR-S fuel elements (approximately 17% contain HEU) • prerequisite infrastructure upgrades • related documentation, regulatory approvals, international agreements and licenses • project management and implementation including the procurement of required equipment and services
Significant Challenges Condition of the spent fuel elements • Condition of spent fuel elements • Degraded or inadequate support infrastructure • Limited Serbian Regulatory resources
Challenges – spent fuel condition Prolonged, poor water chemistry has resulted in corrosion and the loss of fuel element integrity • Handling problems • Increased basin activity
Challenge – spent fuel condition • TVR-S corrosion in Al fuel channel or storage tube • Corrosion began at a point of initial defect • Elements fused to Al tube • Tends to prevent further release of fission products
Challenge – degraded infrastructure Carbon steel pipes in the spent fuel basin.
Challenge – degraded infrastructure Sludge around a carbon steel component being removed from the spent fuel basin.
Challenge – degraded infrastructure Prerequisite activities • Carbon steel component removal • Fuel channel technical component removal • Basin / sludge cleanup • Basin floor plate / support structure modification
Challenge – degraded infrastructure Identified infrastructure upgrades include • Water chemistry and level control systems • Radioactive waste storage • Radiation monitoring and protection • Gas monitoring systems • Materials handling equipment (cranes, forklifts, etc.) • Ventilation systems • Utilities and services (electrical, water, air, etc.)
Challenge - Serbian regulatory support • Multiple, complex submissions from the three integrated sub-projects • Limited resources within Serbia • Recent Government changes The project has secured resource support from the region through in-kind project donations. Considerably more resources are required.
Progress • Sept. 2006 – Contract signed • Mar. 2007 – Carbon steel removal complete • May 2007 – Concept document complete • June 2007 – PSAR submitted to SRA by Vinča • Sept. 2007 – WCCS requirements finalized
IAEA contributing activities Procurement of ŠKODA VPVR/M packaging system • Procured through a TC project supporting RRRFR program • IAEA donated 10 VPRM casks and ancillary equipment to NRI Řež
IAEA contributing activities RRRFR spent fuel shipment guideline • October 2006 - RRRFR Lessons Learned Workshop • Provide technical and administrative information on preparations for shipping irradiated Russian research reactor fuel; including the sharing experiences with Uzbek spent fuel shipments, • Finalize the outline and provide substantive documentation for preparation of an IAEA guideline document, and • Determine actions to be taken by the IAEA to facilitate future shipments
Summary • VIND Program is working to address significant environmental and proliferation concerns. • Degraded fuel and support infrastructure as well as recent, regional conflicts underscore the need for prompt action. • IAEA direct and indirect support has contributed to steady progress and the achievement of key project milestones. • Several challenges, including funding, continue to threaten project progress.
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