Electrochemical Plant (EKhZ) Production Association

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Last Updated: March 6, 2013
Other Name: (ОАО) Про¬из¬водст¬вен¬ное объ¬еди¬не¬ние "Элек¬тро¬хи¬ми¬чес¬кий за¬вод", ПО ЭХЗ; PA Electrochemical Plant, PA ECP
Location: Zelenogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai
Subordinate To: TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom
Size: Approximately 4,000 employees
Facility Status: Operational

Started up in 1962 in Krasnoyarsk-45 (now known as Zelenogorsk), the gaseous diffusionequipment (and, later, centrifuges) at the Electrochemical Plant (EKhZ) produced Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) for the Soviet nuclear weapons program. Since becoming fully operational in 1970, and through the end of the Cold War, the facility's enrichment capacity ranged from 1 million SWU/yr to 6-7 million SWU/yr. [1]

The EKhZ is fully converted to civilian use and no longer produces HEU. Today, its primary activities include processing, transportation, and storage of Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel, the production of stable isotopes and radioisotopes, and the processing and storage of depleteduranium hexafluoride. [2] The plant's enrichment capacity as of 2011 is 8.7 million SWU/yr, which Rosatom plans to expand to 12 million SWU/yr by 2020. [3] A new deconversion (defluorination) plant, commissioned at the site in 2009, processes depleted uranium so that it can be stored long-term as uranium oxide. [4] Through its participation in the U.S.-Russia HEU-LEU program, the facility also regularly handles HEU conversion (to UF6) and downblending. [5] It is estimated that approximately half of the EKhZ's enrichment capacity has been allocated to re-enriching tails (depleted uranium) to provide 1.5% LEU for HEU downblending. [6]

The Electrochemical Plant has received funding and assistance from the U.S. Government through the Department of Energy's Materials Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) Program beginning in 1996. [7]

Sources:
[1] Pavel Podvig, "History of Highly Enriched Uranium Production in Russia," Science & Global Security, 19/2011, pp. 59-60.
[2] "Activities," JSC "PA Electrochemical Plant," www.ecp.ru.
[3] "Russia's Nuclear Fuel Cycle," World Nuclear Association, April 2014, www.world-nuclear.org.
[4] "Russia's Nuclear Fuel Cycle," World Nuclear Association, April 2014, www.world-nuclear.org.
[5] Pavel Podvig, "Consolidating Fissile Materials in Russia's Nuclear Complex," International Panel on Fissile Materials, May 2009, p. 25, www.fissilematerials.org.
[6] "Russia's Nuclear Fuel Cycle," World Nuclear Association, April 2014, www.world-nuclear.org.
[7] Jon Brook Wolfsthal et al., "Nuclear Facilities and Fissile Materials in the Former Soviet Union," Nuclear Status Report, The Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 2001.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.