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Russian Production Association Mayak" (Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region), part of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom, plans by 2020 to establish at its radiochemical plant RT-1, a universal plant capable of processing all types of used nuclear fuel, Interfax reported on 24 October. “The company is working on the development of new technologies for processing used fuel, which ensure that Mayak can handle all types of fuel by 2020,” a company representative said. Previously Mayak handled used fuel from VVER-440 reactors, submarines, fast reactors and research reactors.

Already, the modernization and improvement in efficiency at RT-1 has helped to increase reprocessing productivity by 35%. In 2015 the mill processed 230t tons of used fuel. Plant director general Michael Pohlebaeva said the target is at least 400t a year. This year, for the first time, several wagons of used nuclear fuel from RBMK-1000 reactors at Leningrad NPP were delivered to the site for processing. At the end of 2016 "Mayak" plans to begin reprocessing of used fuel from VVER-1000 reactors, in particular, from the Rostov NPP.

Meanwhile, work is continuing to remediate areas which were contaminated as a result of poor waste management practices and accidents in the 1950s. The

Government of the Kurgan region announced that it will allocate RUB34m ($528,000) in 2017 to the regional state programme "Overcoming the consequences of radiation accidents at the production association Mayak. In 2016, Mayak allocated RUB25.6m to the programme. Substantial sums are also allocated from the federal budget. 

Date: Wednesday, 09 November 2016
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