The French company Électricité de France (EDF) selected ROSATOM-subsidiary TENEX as one of the winners of an international tender for converting and enriching EDF’s reprocessed uranium (RepU) and the technical maintenance of EDF’s RepU containers in 2018. TENEX’s application met EDF’s technical, environmental, and commercial requirements. The parties signed contracts on the provision of corresponding services in the framework of the XXII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that same year.
In preparation for the start of the practical implementation of long-term contracts on RepU management, experts from EDF visited ROSATOM’s Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in Seversk (Russia’s Tomsk Region) for a technical audit. The audit confirmed SCC’s ability to fulfill all its technical and environmental obligations, including the vitrification of non-recyclable effluent and processing residues in an installation meeting the best international standards. The first fuel assemblies containing EDF’s RepU processed in Russia will be put to use at the French Cruas nuclear power plant in 2023.
The delivery of RepU to Russia and the subsequent return of the converted and partially enriched uranium product for manufacturing fuel assemblies in France and loading in French nuclear power plants will continue until 2032. The nuclear materials will be transported by ROSATOM in accordance with both Russian and international safety regulations for the transport of such cargo.
Using RepU to produce nuclear fuel is a reliable, natural ressources saving, and cost-effective way to use materials issued from spent fuel reprocessing – an increasingly valuable asset in the global nuclear industry.
ROSATOM’s many years of experience using secondary materials to produce fuel for nuclear power plants allow the company to successfully implement international cooperation programmes. Today, ROSATOM is the only company in the world that has the technology and a full range of specialised production facilities for the large-scale conversion services prior to the manufacturing RepU fuel assemblies..
Notes to the editor:
Reprocessed uranium (RepU) is uranium that has been recovered after the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. After enrichment, the RepU can be reused for the production of fuel for nuclear reactors.
Russian technologies for recycling recovered nuclear materials are in demand both in Russia and in foreign markets.
The feed materials will be transported in Russia in accordance with all international and federal safety requirements. The requirements for the transport of materials within the Russian Federation are elaborated in the Federal Norms and Regulations in the Field of the Use of Atomic Energy NP-053-16 “Safety Rules for the Transportation of Radioactive Materials,” approved on September 15, 2016 by Rostechnadzor Order No. 388 and amended on October 5, 2020. These requirements were based on the IAEA’s Safety Standards SSR-6 (Rev. 1) (see Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 2018 Edition Specific Safety Requirements).