A New Type of Fuel Developed for Nuclear Power Plants in Russia. The equipment for the production of MOKS fuel at the Mining-Chemistry combination in Krasnoyarsk was successfully tested. The proposed MOKS fuel for reactors of atomic power plants is mixed oxide containing uranium and plutonium. The new fuel in compressed form is scheduled to be tested in the reactor of the Beloyarsk atomic power station a year later.
The trial fuel was produced on the basis of uranium dioxide. However, this is still not MOKS fuel. By "enriching" uranium with plutonium, experts hope in the near future they will be able to obtain a new fuel for fast neutron reactors. Boris Ryzhenkov, head of public relations department of Krasnoyarsk Mining-Chemistry Combination, said:
Technological equipment was made. Uranium dioxide was used as a test. Everything went well. The experiment was carried out on the basis of uranium dioxide, just so as not to overuse the plutonium. Everything is OK. The process continues.
Plutonium counts as a "whimsical" element. The character of this element is very useful for making nuclear weapons. The same quality prevented plutonium from being used as fuel over a long period of time. Because it is very difficult to manage the relevant process. Even in the USA, which previously insisted on burying the plutonium in the ground, businesses are now being established to produce MOKS fuel. The production of such fuel will allow the use of weapons plutonium residue, which would otherwise be considered radioactive waste, with benefit. Boris Ryzhenkov went on to say:
Energy is produced in the reactor thanks to the degradation of plutonium into lower elements in Mendeleev's periodic table, namely isotopes of iodine, strontium and xenon. In MOKS fuel, plutonium, which has lost its existence as a chemical element, is used instead of uranium 235, which is used as fuel in the usual reactor.
According to the representative of the Krasnoyarsk combine, plutonium will require the application of stricter control. In France, MOKS fuel is used only in thermal reactors starting from 1995. MOKS fuel for fast neutron reactors was developed by specialists from Krasnoyarsk. This could in principle open up entirely other possibilities for energy production.
Source : turkish.ruvr