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Russian plant launches processing of spent nuclear fuel from submarines

YEKATERINBURG, November 16. /TASS/. Radiochemical factory Mayak located in the Chelyabinsk region, southern Urals, has launched the recycling of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from submarines, the factory press service said on Wednesday.

Mayak reports to the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

"As part of the ‘Nuclear Radiation Security II’ special-focus program Rosatom plans to recycle all the decommissioned nuclear maintenance ships and depot ships of the nuclear submarine fleet prior to 2020," the press service said.

It added that Mayak launched a third nuclear fuel processing line earlier this month following a major overhaul.

"That’s an emblematic event not only for the enterprise but also for the entire Russian nuclear industry," the report said. "Now the third production line has become universal. It has a capacity for recycling the classical SNF for light water VVER-440 nuclear reactors installed at power plans in Russia and abroad - something it has been doing for many long years - and on top of that large-size fuel assemblies from VVER-1000 reactors and many other types of SNF."

The factory’s Deputy Director General for Strategic Development, Dmitry Kolupayev, said earlier in an interview with the corporate newspaper Mayak had an ambitious plan for the coming year and a half to two years to become the world’s only factory capable of recycling any types of SNF.

"This unique quality will help keep up leadership in technology and ensure full-scale workload, which will raise the economic efficiency of the factory," Kolupayev said.

Mayak is the leading enterprise of the Russian nuclear fuel complex with unique R & D operations, like the regeneration of the SNF, manufacturing the recycling of the sources of ionizing radiation for medicine and the industrial sector, as well as development and manufacturing the parametric control systems.

It also has the nuclear reactors with unique neutron and physical properties making it possible to produce a broad array of radioactive isotopes for defense and civilian purposes.

Uranium regenerates derived at the radiochemical facility of the factory and supplies to the TVEL company have been returning to the power engineering sector in the form of ‘fresh fuel’.