Rosatom will operate the plant for producing plutonium, U-5

The famous pilot plant U-5 in Moscow, which worked out the technologies of plutonium required to create a domestic nuclear weapons will be decommissioned by 2022, the works are scheduled to use new technologies that can be applied in similar projects in the future, according to the portal of the Federal target program on nuclear and radiation safety.

Install the U-5 is located in the North-West of Moscow on the territory of "high-tech research Institute of inorganic materials named after academician Bochvar" (VNIINM, a part of TVEL, a leading scientific center of Rosatom on the development of nuclear fuel cycle technologies and materials science).

Building of unit 5 was commissioned in 1945 in the atomic Institute NII-9 (currently VNIINM). It was intended for research on the technological process of extracting plutonium required to create a domestic nuclear weapons.

Irradiation of uranium in nuclear reactors and the subsequent release of a plutonium radiochemical methods is considered the most time-consuming part of projects to create nuclear weapons. But first, these processes should be studied at the pilot facilities. From this point of view, the installation-5 played in the Soviet atomic project, the same role as the first domestic reactor f-1, launched in 1946 in Moscow next to NII-9 in the "Laboratory №2 of the USSR Academy of Sciences" (now the national research center "Kurchatov Institute").

Reactor f-1 was developed the technology that formed the basis for the construction and operation of the plant No. 817 in the southern Urals (now enterprise Rosatom "Production Association "Mayak", Ozersk city) the first Soviet industrial reactor to produce weapons-grade plutonium. And on I-5, was built near the reactor f-1, nuclear Institute NII-9 (currently VNIINM), to develop technologies that were necessary to create the first industrial radiochemical plant "B" plant №817.

Uranium irradiated in a reactor f-1, is transmitted to the I-5. In December 1947, the U-5 was selected first in the USSR, the preparation of trivalent plutonium with a mass of 73 micrograms, and by the end of 1948, there were nearly 300 milligrams of concentrated solutions of plutonium. The installation for the first time in Russian nuclear industry has experienced and practiced the technique of conducting the technological processes with a remote control.

The plant was mothballed in 1965. The building has since been supported in a radiation-safe condition and avoid any risk of violation of physical safety barriers installation.

Earlier in the premises of the I-5 work was done in preparation for the conclusion of the installation out of operation. In 2010, the experts conducted a comprehensive engineering and radiation survey, in 2011-2012 was developed and approved the concept design to decommissioning, in 2011-2015 was removed technological environment and sources of ionizing radiation, of the work performed main stage on the project.

During the 2020-2021 years professionals AECC will do the work for decontamination of building structures, decontamination and demolition of utilities, certification of wastes and transport them to the disposal to another company Rosatom "National operator for radioactive waste management". The total value of the contract is more than 140 million rubles.

During dismantling of the equipment At-5 is planned to introduce new developments that could also be used in similar projects in the future. In particular, VNIINM designed and manufactured dual-mode laser device for the so-called ablation-plasma cleaning radiation-contaminated surfaces. Laser method of decontamination prevents secondary dressing a large amount of liquid radioactive waste, or dust, and it does not require the presence of personnel in the work area.