Recent milestones in the nuclear cooperation between Rosatom and China (4)

Recent milestones in the nuclear cooperation between Rosatom and China (4)

Over the years, Chinese specialists gained their own experience of working in the CEFR reactor, and began to develop separate components and units of the reactor installation, and some fuel elements. While the CEFR used Russian uranium fuel, a CRRAL laboratory has already been built in Gansu province, in which, according to Chinese nuclear scientists, they were able to obtain some of the energy plutonium and, as they reported during the FR-2017 conference, to load the first batch Mixed Oxyde (MOX) fuel in the CEFR core by the end of 2018, and its first post-reactor testing in 2020.

The isotopic composition of the MOX fuel for the CEFR will be very different from the MOX fuel for the CFR-600. Plutonium for the first fast reactors China can get with the help of a reprocessing plant at Jinta site in Gansu, the opening of which is scheduled for 2020.

Russian specialists in Zheleznogorsk have already produced MOX fuel for fast neutron reactors, far ahead of their Chinese counterparts. But here in the future it is quite possible to exchange experience, Chinese experts plan to start research and production of metal fuel – a new direction, promising good prospects for increasing the reproduction rate of nuclear fuel with a short doubling time and with a high rate of energy plutonium production.

Another contract from the package is the supply of a new batch of radionuclide thermal blocks (TB), which are elements of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) for the needs of the Chinese lunar program. the lunar program is led by the Industrial Corporation “Great Wall” and the Center for the Exploration of the Moon and Space Engineering CNKA. In 2013 the RFNC-VNIIEF Federal State Unitary Enterprise (Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod region) successfully completed the development, production and supply of 120W radionuclide thermal blocks of 120W power to the PRC.

Rosatom develops nuclear projects that are not only related to energy, but include nuclear medicine, digitalization, composite materials, 3D printing, machine-tool and low-power nuclear power plants. Rosatom is developing, developing high-tech projects in a variety of industries, the strategic partnership of Russia and China in the nuclear project has all the bases for further development.

About Author

Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.