Status of Kazakhstan breeder reactor closure
The overall purpose of the Kazakhstan Reactor Closure Project is to ensure irreversible shutdown of the BN-350 (EPR-II) reactor, which was designed to produce weapon's grade plutonium. All of the work performed by the United States on this project is identified in an Implementing Agreement signed by DOE and the Kazakhstan Minister of Energy and Trade in December 1999. Work progress in the main project areas is described below:
Decommissioning Planning - A team of decommissioning specialists from the United States, Kazakhstan, Russia (funded by the ISTC), and the European Union (funded by the TACIS program) attended a decommissioning planning meeting at the EBR-II site in June. Specialists from Kazakhstan and Russia have prepared sections of a draft plan based on a format and content document previously prepared by the international team. The purpose of the meeting was to begin assembling the decommissioning plan and to establish action items required for the completion of the plan.
The purpose of the plan is to document the cost and schedule of activities needed to complete the decommissioning effort. This document would be used as a tool in providing financial and schedule requirements for various areas of placing the reactor in safe storage and final demolition. Various countries have identified a willingness to provide financial support of reactor shutdown, and the plan will identify those needs.
Cesium Trap Design - Following completion of the design for the cesium trap
system in the spring, the design team representing Kazakhstan and the United
States has been working on ensuring the regulatory code requirements of both
countries can be met with the final design. In addition, efforts are under way
Sodium Draining, Processing, and Residual Sodium Deactivation - Kazakhstan has submitted the first set of deliverables required by the Non-Proliferation Disarmament Fund (NDF) project. As part of Task Order 1, Kazakhstan provided detailed planning documents to identify the overall scope of work and schedule to perform the activities that are included in the NDF project. These include the draining of the primary sodium coolant, the engineering effort required for processing the drained sodium into an environmentally acceptable waste form, and for deactivating the residual sodium remaining after draining. Engineers from Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) in Idaho Falls, Idaho, drafted the statements of work for Task Orders 2 and 4 and submitted them to the U.S. State Department for inclusion in the contract documents. Engineering design teams began on sodium draining and processing, under Task Orders 2 and 4, respectively, in late September.
Fire Protection and Radiation Monitoring Upgrades - Work continued in the coordination of fire protection support being provided by the European Union, through the TACIS program, and the United States. This support includes new fire doors, relocation of fire detection heads based on shutdown activities at the plant (coordinated with the United States), and removal of the hazardous floor coating in the plant. Kazakhstan has requested additional support, and the project is looking for funding sources to support this request. (Doug Newton, NNSA, 301-903-9504; Pete Wells, ANL-W, 208-533-7152)
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