Russia develops LEU fuel for VVR-K reactor in Kazakhstan

Russia reportedly completed development of LEU fuel for the VVR-K research reactor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Almaty. According to the report, the new fuel, VVR-KN, will allow to fully preserve operational parameters of the reactor. Reactor test of the new fuel assemblies are expected to begin in 2013. The fuel is being manufactured at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrate Plant. It could be used in other VVR-type reactors, in Russia and elsewhere.

The VVR-K reactor used HEU fuel with enrichment of 36%. In 2008-2009, the GTRI program assisted Kazakhstan with removing the reactor spent fuel to Russia. In 2011, the program helped Kazakhstan to eliminate the remaining HEU fresh fuel.