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2006 International RERTR Meeting

Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the Meeting

SAFARI-1: Adjusting Priorities During the LEU Conversion Program

Piani CSB
SAFARI-1 Research Reactor
South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa)
PO Box 582, Pretoria 0001 - Republic of South Africa
e-mail: [email protected]


In July 2005, the South African Department of Minerals and Energy authorised the conversion to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) of the South African Research Reactor (SAFARI-1) and the associated fuel manufacturing at Pelindaba. At that stage the proposed scheduling allowed approximately three years for the full conversion of the reactor, anticipating simultaneous manufacturing ability from the fuel production plant.

Initial priorities and regulatory agreements were allocated with the intention to manufacture and produce two Lead Test Assemblies (LTAs) from the Pelindaba plant (Phase I) and use these as qualification of manufacturer as well as initiation of the SAFARI-1 conversion (Phase II). Delays in the demonstration of sufficient confidence in the manufacturing ability to enable local fuel licensing and qualification have resulted in minor readjustments of these Phases.

Delays in the initial schedule that allowed for the insertion of the two South African LTAs during the 1st quarter of 2006 were pre-empted by the acquisition of 2 LEU silicide elements of SA design manufactured by AREVA-CERCA. These two LTAs are currently undergoing testing in SAFARI-1 and have to-date completed 5 cycles of irradiation each.

As a further precaution to the potential delays in the fuel-manufacturing Phase, a reload (760 plates) of LEU silicide element fuel plates were purchased and will be assembled locally to enable the SAFARI-1 conversion program to continue according to schedule.

This paper will trace the developments of the above in order to reflect the current status and the planned correlation of the Phase I and Phase II programs according to latest expectations.

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Dr. Jordi Roglans-Ribas
Technical Director, RERTR Department
Nuclear Engineering Division 362
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
Fax:  +1 630-252-5161

2016 RERTR Meeting

The 2016 International RERTR Meeting (RERTR-2016) will take place in Belgium. Stay tuned for further details.

2015 RERTR Meeting

The 2015 International RERTR Meeting (RERTR-2015) took place in Seoul, Korea on Oct. 11-14, 2015.
For more information visit RERTR-2015.


ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Nuclear Engineering Division, RERTR Department
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Last modified on July 29, 2008 15:16 +0200