Russia might import spent nuclear fuel next year from a research reactor located in Uzbekistan, Interfax reported yesterday (see GSN, Aug. 5).
Two contracts for transport and handling of the spent fuel, worth “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” are being negotiated, a Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency official said. Once in Russia, the material would be processed at the Mayak facility (Interfax, Aug. 5).
Uzbekistan has one operational research reactor, located at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in the city of Ulugbek, and nuclear material from an inactive reactor is also stored at the institute, according a Nuclear Threat Initiative fact sheet. The working reactor was originally fueled with 90-percent highly enriched uranium until it was converted to use 36-percent fuel in 1998. (NTI release, Aug. 6).