View of the K-edge densitometer to perform U and Pu concentration determinations of process solutions in Mayak RT-1 plant
Securing nuclear material in the Russian Federation
A fully computerised Nuclear Material Accountancy and Control (NMAC) system will soon be in place at the Russian Mayak reprocessing plant located in Ozersk in the Chelyabinsk region. The project, technically managed by the JRC in the framework of the European Commission's TACIS Programme, is the first one of its kind to conceive and implement such a system in a Russian designed nuclear reprocessing facility. After validation, the complete system is likely to become a prototype for all Russian reprocessing plants. This important achievement marks a significant step forward in securing nuclear material in the Russian Federation.
Based on its experience in providing scientific and technical support for safeguarding of reprocessing facilities, the JRC was assigned the technical responsibility of the MAYAK project. It started in March 2006 under the TACIS nuclear safeguards Programme, a technical programme implemented by the European Commission to secure nuclear material in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
The nuclear installations of Mayak Production Association need to be modernised in order to comply with safeguards agreements pursuant to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). New instruments, techniques and computerised systems have to be implemented to assure the quality of nuclear material accountancy and control requested by new Russian regulations at different stages of spent fuel reprocessing and production of plutonium dioxide and uranium final products.
In this project, the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) and Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) are responsible for identifying the required equipment upgrades, the on-site factory testing and the associated operator training. As principal contactor, JRC-IPSC is the responsible for the overall management of the project. The success of this project is the result of a very close cooperation between the JRC and its Russian partners, in particular the Mayak power plant and the Russian Methological and Training Centre, which was established a decade ago in Obninsk with the support of the JRC.