Technology for Loading the Spent Fuel of the GHARR-1 MNSR Reactor into the Shipping Cask


S. Komarov, A. Ivashchenko, A. Denisov, A. Samsonov, S. Kashkirov

The 10th Technical Meeting on Lessons Learned from the RRRFR Programme, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, 20-23 June 2016

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The program on conversion of the MNSR-type research reactors and return of their HEU fuel to China is aimed at minimizing the civilian uses of highly enriched uranium and reducing a potential nuclear terrorism threat. The first project under this Program, the removal of SNF from the GHARR 1 reactor operated by the National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI) of the Republic of Ghana, is now in progress.

Sosny R&D Company is developing a procedure and equipment for safe displacement of the irradiated HEU core from the reactor and loading into a shipping cask. The core will be displaced using a specially designed interim transfer cask and a set of auxiliary equipment. The displacement will be implemented in two subsequent steps: to lift the core from the reactor vessel into the interim transfer cask and then to reload the core from the interim transfer cask into the shipping cask. The particular attention was paid to design multipurpose equipment to ensure its use in the further irradiated fuel reloading in other countries participating in the conversion program as well as in displacement of the similar cores in the People's Republic of China.

This paper describes the procedure and the equipment developed, gives its characteristics and reports on the results of the manufactured equipment functional tests.

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