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Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)

  • Location
    Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast
  • Type
    Nuclear-Weaponization
  • Facility Status
    Operational

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Established in 1917, this facility manufactured munitions before it was redirected toward production for the USSR’s military and civil nuclear programs. In 1954, Elemash began to produce fuel assemblies, including for the first nuclear power plant in the world, located in Obninsk. In 1959, the facility produced the fuel for the Soviet Union’s first icebreaker. Its fuel assembly production became serial in 1965 and automated in 1982. 1

Today, Elemash is one of the largest TVEL nuclear fuel production companies in Russia, specializing in fuel assemblies for nuclear power plants, research reactors, and naval nuclear reactors. Its fuel assemblies for RBMK, VVER, and fast reactors are used in 67 reactors worldwide. 2 It also produced MOX fuel assemblies for the BN-800 and the fuel for Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant in 2011. 3 Elemash manufactures BWR and PWR fuel assemblies for Areva, and also supplied fuel assemblies to start up China’s CEFR fast reactor. 4

Elemash has two operational critical assemblies, both powered by HEU.

In addition, Elemash manufactures barium-ferrite magnets, boasting one of the largest magnet production capabilities in Russia. 5 It also produces corrosion-resistant steel tubes used in fuel rods and assemblies. 6

Glossary

Nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon: A device that releases nuclear energy in an explosive manner as the result of nuclear chain reactions involving fission, or fission and fusion, of atomic nuclei. Such weapons are also sometimes referred to as atomic bombs (a fission-based weapon); or boosted fission weapons (a fission-based weapon deriving a slightly higher yield from a small fusion reaction); or hydrogen bombs/thermonuclear weapons (a weapon deriving a significant portion of its energy from fusion reactions).
Nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant: A facility that generates electricity using a nuclear reactor as its heat source to provide steam to a turbine generator.
Nuclear energy
Nuclear energy: The energy liberated by a nuclear reaction (fission or fusion), or by radioactive decay.
Research reactor
Research reactor: Small fission reactors designed to produce neutrons for a variety of purposes, including scientific research, training, and medical isotope production. Unlike commercial power reactors, they are not designed to generate power.
Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel
Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel: A type of nuclear fuel used in light water reactors that consists of plutonium blended with uranium (natural, depleted or reprocessed). The MOX process also enables disposition of military plutonium, with the resulting fuel usable for energy generation.
Highly enriched uranium (HEU)
Highly enriched uranium (HEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of more than 20% of the isotope U-235. Achieved via the process of enrichment. See entry for enriched uranium.

Sources

  1. “О предприятии - История завода” [About the Enterprise - History of the Plant], (ОАО) Машиностроительный завод (Элемаш) [(OJSC) Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)], www.elemash.ru.
  2. “Годовой отчет ОАО МСЗ за 2011 год” [MSZ 2011 Annual Report], (ОАО) Машиностроительный завод (Элемаш) [(OJSC) Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)], www.elemash.ru.
  3. “О предприятии - История завода” [About the Enterprise - History of the Plant], (ОАО) Машиностроительный завод (Элемаш) [(OJSC) Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)], www.elemash.ru.
  4. “Продукция ядерно-топливного цикла” Nuclear Fuel Cycle Products, (ОАО) Машиностроительный завод (Элемаш) (OJSC) Machine-Building Plant (Elemash), www.elemash.ru.
  5. “Магниты” [Magnets], (ОАО) Машиностроительный завод (Элемаш) [(OJSC) Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)], www.elemash.ru.
  6. Элемаш-спецтрубпрокат [Elemash-Spetzrubprokat] (ОАО) Машиностроительный завод (Элемаш) [(OJSC) Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)], www.elemash.ru.

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