Kazakhstan eliminates 33 kg of fresh HEU fuel

U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration assisted Kazakhstan in eliminating 33 kg of fresh HEU fuel of a research reactor of the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Almaty. According to the NNSA press-release, the material was sent to the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, where it was down-blended into LEU. The shipment was completed in August 2011; the down-blending process, which involved dissolving the HEU, was completed in seven weeks. The operation was part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative that seeks to minimize the use of HEU.

The Institute of Nuclear Physics operates a VVR-K research reactor that used fuel containing uranium with enrichment of 36% of U-235. In 2008-2009, GTRI program assisted Kazakhstan with removing 73.7 kg of HEU-containing spent fuel to Russia.