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Nuclear and Energy Research Institute

Science and Technology to service life

Nuclear Fuel Center

Warning: This content was machine translated and is scheduled for reviewing.

The Nuclear Fuel Center (CCN) is responsible for the production of nuclear fuel for the operation of the IEA-R1 research reactor, located at IPEN. The development of new technologies for nuclear fuel is also a permanent objective of our Centre.

The fuel used in this reactor is of type MTR (Materials testing reactor), and comprises fissionable material (uranium) conformed and metallurgically closed on aluminum plates. These cards make up the Fuel Element (CE), which is routinely made by the ACA and delivered to the center of the Research Reactor of IPEN.

The fuel element is based on the dispersion of uranium siliceto (U3Si2) in aluminium with a density of 3 grams of uranium per cubic centimeter. The uranium is supplied by the Navy technological Center in Sao Paulo (CTMSP) with an enrichment of up to 20% in the isotope uranium 235. This concentration is in accordance with the Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT). The material is received in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), and all phases mechanical-metallurgical and chemical for the fuel plates are held in the NAC.

So, the whole cycle of the fuel used in the IPEN is national. We can compete commercially with other international companies in this market. In this field, we must point out that at present we are working on the development of alloys with higher uranium density and also the improvement of new manufacturing methods that put us on equal footing with the technical and commercial development with other centres in other countries. The CCN is dedicated to the research and cooperation with other national and international centres, with which we maintain a great interactive activity of scientific development in the area of nuclear fuels.

The ACA currently has 31 employees, among researchers, technicians and administrative body.

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