Air Shipment of the Spent Fuel from Romania

On June 29, 2009 transportation of SFA of Romania research reactor VVR-S of the National Institute of Research and Development in Physics and Nuclear Engineering "Horia Hulubei" (IFIN-HH) was successfully completed. This operation became unique, on the one hand, due to innovations in technical decisions, and on the other hand, due to high level of safety at all stages of preparation and implementation of the transportation. For the first time in Russia TUK-19 casks with SFA were transported by air. For the first time, specifically developed overpacks based on ISO freight containers were used for the multimodal transportation of the TUK-19 casks.

The most important condition for implementation of this project was to meet requirements of international and Russian regulations on safe transport of radioactive materials. Firstly, careful inspection of all SFA was performed. Secondly, the safest technology to load SFA into the Russian TUK-19 casks appropriate for the Romania research reactor was designed and used.

Experts from the VNIIEF (Sarov) and the IPPE (Obninsk) performed comprehensive safety analysis followed by a number of independent expertise. The safety-related conclusions of the Russian experts were confirmed by the Romania regulatory agency. It was proved that the package design provides nuclear and radiation safety for regulated thermal and mechanical loads under normal and accident conditions of transport by any conveyance including an aircraft. In addition radiation risks were analyzed and the action plan for hypothetical emergency response was developed with participation of Romania and Russian specialized agencies.


Making up SNF packages at IFIN-HH


Unified Project documents to import SFA of Romania research reactor SFA into the RF, passed through the State Ecological Expertise Review, proved that implementation of this project doesn't affect the ecology of the Urals region and implementation of the special ecological programs will allow a lot of ecological problems to be resolved.

The success of this operation is contributed to the cooperation of many organizations of atomic industry aimed at implementation of the program of non-proliferation of nuclear materials and reduction of international terrorism threat.


Loading SNF packages on board the AN-124-100 aircraft at Bucharest airpoty. Offloading at Yekaterinburg airport

In parallel to this operation unirradiated HEU fuel of Russian origin was transported from the Institute for Nuclear Research in Pitesti. On June 27, 2009 the fuel was delivered to the SSC RIAR (Dimitrovgrad).

After removing fresh fuel (in September 2003 and June 2009) and irradiated fuel Romania became the third country after Latvia and Bulgaria without HEU nuclear fuel.




Nuclear & Enviromental Safety, No. 1, 2010: Spent Nuclear Fuel Air Shipment: Safety Justification 

Nuclear & Enviromental Safety, No. 1, 2011: Romania: brand-new enginering solutions

Nuclear & Enviromental Safety, No. 1, 2011:  Preparation of the First Air Transport of Spent Fuel Certified to New Requirements

Nuclear & Enviromental Safety, No. 2, 2013Repatriation of Low Enriched Uranium Spent Nuclear Fuel to Russia for Reprocessing


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