HEU fuel moved out from the research reactor in Kazakhstan

The last batch of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel of the research reactor VVR-K was moved out to Russia.

The reactor is situated in the Nuclear Physics Institute (NPI, Almaty, Kazakhstan. The fuel was delivered to Koltsovo Airport (Yekaterinburg) by air and then moved by road to the reprocessing facility at PA Mayak. The shipment was organized by the research and production company Sosny. The decision to convert VVR-K from highly enriched to low enriched (LEU) fuel (19.7% with regard to uranium-235) was made in 2003 as part of the international program to convert research reactor cores to low enriched fuel. In 2011, NCCP jointly with A. A. Bochvar VNIINM and NIKIET started series production of LEU foel for this reactor. By present, NCCP has delivered to NPI four batches of LEU fuel; the latest one was delivered in August 2017. Experts estimate that this fuel would last for 15-18 years.