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VIII International School on Spent Nuclear Fuel Management of Power Reactors

VIII International School on Spent Nuclear Fuel Management of Power Reactors

The annual International School on SNF Management of Power Reactors (hereinafter – the School) was held at the Rosatom Technical Academy from September 28 to October 2.

The School was organized by State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (represented by the Project Office “Formation of the SNF Management System” (SNF PO) in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The School programme was dedicated to various aspects of SNF management from power reactors and focuses on one of the specific topics each year. This year the School focused on the issues and challenges in the management of SNF from Small-Modular Reactors (SMRs) and spent nuclear accident tolerant fuel (ATF).

Experts from leading Russian and foreign organizations involved in the development and implementation of projects for SMRs and tolerant fuel made reports within the framework of the School. As the part of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, the senior manager of the SNF PO A. Khaperskaya made opening remarks of the School and presented the report “Strategy for SNF Management in Russia”, identifying the key challenges and issues in the strategies for SNF Management of advanced fuels, including fuel of SMRs and ATF. As the part of the IAEA, Ms. Amparo Gonzalez Espartero (Technical Lead of Spent Fuel Management of the IAEA Nuclear Energy Department) spoke about the Agency’s current activities in the field of SNF management.

In order to provide information of various SMR projects, their development and the level of readiness to implement, as well as possible issues in full-scale deployment, reports were presented by Mr. Hadid Subki, the technical officer of the SMR Technology Development section of the IAEA, representatives of leading Russian organizations (NIKIET JSC, Afrikantov OKBM JSC, NRC Kurchatov Institute) and foreign organizations (Argentine National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA)). The Head of the National Atomic Energy Agency of Indonesia (BATAN), Mr. Jarot Sulistio Wisnubroto presented a report to outline possible needs of the countries-potential users of SMR technologies.

Significant part of the reports presented at the School was devoted to the development of advanced types of accident tolerant fuels (ATF). This session was opened by the report of Mr. Mikhail Veshchunov, the technical lead of department of nuclear energy of the IAEA. Foreign representatives announced information about the programme for the development of tolerant fuel in Japan (Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Nippon Nuclear Fuel Development Co., Ltd.), in France (Electricite de France or (EDF)). Representatives of JSC “VNIINM” (Head of the Department of Radiochemical Technologies T.M. Boitsova and Chief Specialist A.G. Malgin) were presented progress in the field of tolerant fuel in Russia.

The School was held remotely for the first time due to the difficult epidemiological situation in the world caused by the spread of coronavirus infection in 2020. However, the change the format of the School did not become an obstacle to provide the participants the information on the world’s best practices and current trends in the field of SNF management. Besides the experts’ reports, as in previous years, during the School programme there were group work sessions aimed at systematizing the acquired knowledge, as well as establishing personal ties between the participants.

It should be noted that young specialists from Russia, Turkey, Argentina, Indonesia, Romania, Scotland, Morocco, Egypt took part in the School, which had been required adapting the School programme and time zones of participants and speakers. The keen interest in the topics, a significant number of questions from the participants to the experts’ reports makes it possible to note the relevance of the School topics, and the geography of the participants expanding every year indicates a significant interest from the world community to nuclear energy in general and the key issue – SNF management in particular.