Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
1996 International RERTR Meeting
STATUS AND PROGRESS OF THE RERTR PROGRAM
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, Illinois, 60439-4841 USA
The progress of the Reduced Enrichment Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) Program is described. The major events, findings, and activities of 1996 are reviewed after a brief summary of the results which the RERTR Program had achieved by the end of 1995 in collaboration with its many international partners.
Significant progress has been made during the past year in each of the three areas that the delegates to last year's RERTR meeting chose to address, in their letter to President Clinton, as requiring special attention.
- In the area of U.S. acceptance of spent fuel from foreign research reactors, a second shipment of 99 urgent-relief spent fuel elements was completed. The Final Environmental Impact Statement was published in February 1996, and the Record of Decision was published in May 1996. The first shipments under the Record of Decision, containing 280 spent fuel elements, were received at the Savannah River Site in September 1996.
- In the area of advanced fuel development, adequate funding and guidance were received by the RERTR program in March 1996. Fuel development activities are now in progress, including procurement of equipment, screening of candidate materials, and preparations for the production of a first series of microplates. The first irradiations are planned to begin in the Advanced Test Reactor. in Idaho, during April 1997.
- In the area of conversion of DOE research reactors, the RERTR program has been tasked by the Department of Energy to assess the feasibility of converting to LEU fuel each of the DOE research reactors which currently use HEU fuel. A preliminary assessment will be presented at this meeting.
Significant progress has been made by the Russian RERTR program, which aims to develop and demonstrate within the next five years the technical means needed to convert Russian-supplied research reactors to LEU fuels.
The study of an alternative LEU core for the FRM-II design has been extended to address, with excellent results, several controversial performance and safety questions which were raised at last year's meeting.
Substantial accomplishments were made on the development of a process to produce 99Mo from fission targets utilizing LEU instead of HEU. In particular, LEU metal-foil target prototypes were irradiated and, after irradiation, were easily extracted from other target materials for separate dissolution and processing.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the U.S. Department of Energy for responding as it did to some of our most pressing needs. Once more, I ask for the international friendship and cooperation that have been a trademark of the RERTR program since its inception.
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Dr. Armando Travelli
Nuclear Engineering – 362
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
Phone: (630) 252-63639
Fax: (630) 252-5161