Tuesday, August 4, 2009

IAEA to Remove Spent Nuclear Fuel From Serbia


IAEA to Remove Spent Nuclear Fuel From Serbia
Thursday, July 30, 2009

The International Atomic Energy Agency is preparing to remove two and a half tons of spent nuclear fuel from a shuttered research reactor site in Serbia, the organization announced yesterday (see GSN, July 6).
"The unused nuclear waste is in poor condition and needs to be moved as soon as possible. The situation is under control for now, but it could be very dangerous from a safety and security point of view," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said earlier this month, after viewing the Russian-origin fuel rods stored in a poorly maintained cooling pond at Serbia's Vinca Nuclear Institute.
"For the Vinca project, we've needed access to huge, expensive technologies to move this massive amount of fuel back to Russia," added IAEA Special Program Manager John Kelly.
Workers would remove debris from the cooling pond, which contains water contaminated by nuclear reaction by-products, and then outfit the pool with advanced radiation detection equipment. After using specially designed equipment to remove the spent fuel, experts would then stabilize and analyze the material and load it into steel storage casks for shipment.
Roads to the fuel storage center require strengthening for use by the trucks and cranes needed to remove the fuel.
The agency has recruited more than 50 specialists for the project, which is expected to begin this fall and conclude before the end of next year (International Atomic Energy Agency release, July 29).

No comments:

Post a Comment