Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

What is hidden inside the factory producing nuclear fuel within the city bounradies?

Last year, Chemical Concentrates Factory of Novosibirsk produced and sold 70% of the world consumption of lithium-7 isotope (1,300 kg) beating its own record. However, the factory specializes in nuclear fuel production which makes Novosibirsk citizens shiver while thinking about it. People say about an underground city belonging to the factory and some radioactive wind. So, let’s visit this mysterious place and find out which of that is true.

Chemical Concentrates Factory of Novosibirsk is one of the world leading producers of nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants and reactors of Russia and other countries. It is the only factory producing lithium metal and its salts in Russia. Its earnings for 9 months are estimated at 86 million dollars; 10 million 607 thousand dollars for export.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

In this department, they produce fuel assemblies for nuclear reactors. This is what we call nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants. To enter the factory, you have to put on an overall, hat, shoe covers and mask.

Here, they work with uranium-bearing material.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

“Factory Passport; Uranium Dioxide Powder Production”.

From here, they manage uranium dioxide powder production to later make fuel pellets out of it.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Workers of the factory carry out preventive maintenance on a regular basis. Its exhaust ventilation is on all the time filling the space with fresh air.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

In these bi-cones, they keep uranium dioxide powder. They mix it with plasticizing agent for better pressing.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

This device presses the mix to receive fuel pellets.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

After that, fuel pellets go into the furnace. After hydrogen firing, they change their color and size.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

All works are done inside those boxes to prevent contacting with environment.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Those flames are burning hydrogen. The temperature inside the furnace is over +1,750C; they fire their fuel pellets for over 20 hours.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Those black boxes are high-temperature furnaces.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

They grind each fuel pellet to make it of the size they want and check it for cracks, splits and other defects.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Each 4.5 kg fuel pellet is equivalent to 640 kg of wood, 400 kg of coal, 360 m3 of gas and 350 kg of oil.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Uranium dioxide fuel pellets after firing.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

They fill zirconium tubes with their fuel pellets to make fuel elements to make fuel assemblies or, in other words, nuclear fuel.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

At the factory, you can find this Soviet-style soda machine which are extremely rare today.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

It can wash your glass or fill it with soda or refrigerated water.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

According to Department of Natural Resources and State Environmental Control, in 2010 Chemical Concentrates Factory of Novosibirsk did not have significant impacts on the environment.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

A couple of hens live and lay eggs at the factory.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Workers weld a carcass for fuel assemblies. The type is the carcass depends on the fuel assembly modification.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Over 2,270 people work at the factory. Average age of the factory employee is 44.3 years old. Men make up 58% of the staff. Average salary exceeds $1,200.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

They are going to install 312 fuel elements into this carcass.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Near the factory, there is a thermal power plant which discharges 7.5 as much radioactive substances as the factory.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

This is a factory and atomic power engineering vet metalworker-assembler Victor Pustozerov. He is also a holder of two Orders of Labour Glory and one Order of Friendship.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

The fuel assembly’s head and back end are the last to be installed.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

They check each fuel assembly with special probes to make sure the distance between each fuel element is even. It is mostly done by women because this kind of work is very laborious.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

They use these containers to transport their fuel assemblies to the customer.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

Their nuclear fuel is used by nuclear power plants of Russia, Ukraine, China, India and Iran. The price they sell their nuclear fuel for is a commercial classified information.

Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel

This job is as dangerous as any other job at an industrial plant. They examine their employees on a regular basis and no industrial disease has been discovered lately.

Location: Novosibirsk

via news.ngs.ru

4 thoughts on “Inside The Factory Producing Nuclear Fuel”

  1. Russia being Russia – if they did discover any radiation leaks or damage to the health of employees or environment, we wouldn’t hear about it, would we?

    Reply

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