Siberian Chemical Combine

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Siberian Chemical Combine
Joint-stock company
Founded 1949
Headquarters Seversk, Russia
Parent TVEL (Rosatom)
Website atomsib.ru

The Siberian Chemical Combine (Russian: Сибирский химический комбинат) was established in 1953 in Tomsk-7 now known as Seversk, in the Tomsk Region as a single complex of the nuclear technological cycle for the creation of nuclear weapons components based on fissile materials (highly enriched uranium and plutonium). It is a subsidiary of TVEL (Rosatom group).[1]

History

The Siberian Chemical Combine played an important role in the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons program. The facility produced plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU), and fabricated warhead components using produced plutonium and HEU.[2]

As the Cold War came to an end, the Siberian Chemical Combine's HEU production ceased and the last plutonium production reactor at the facility was shut down in 2008.[3] Although production has halted, the facility remains a major site for storage and handling of weapon-usable materials and nuclear weapon components.[4]

Presently, the facility supplies Russia's low enriched uranium fuel needs and enriches reprocessed uranium for foreign customers.[4] The facility is one of the largest sites that stores low and intermediate level nuclear wastes from reprocessing with more than 30 million cubic meters stored via deep-well injection.[5]

Facilities

The comples is based on four plants:

  • Isotope separation plant (ZRI) - separates uranium isotopes with a low degree of 235-U enrichment. Operates since 1953. Until 1973, gas diffusion separation was carried out, and later - centrifugal separation. A number of stable isotopes of xenon, tin, selenium, etc. are also produced.
  • Sublimation plant (NW) - processing of uranium-containing products, including highly enriched uranium for fuel elements and raw uranium hexafluoride for isotope enrichment. It was launched in 1954-1955.
  • Radiochemical Plant (RHC) - processing of irradiated uranium blocks for the purpose of extraction of uranium and plutonium, as well as other radionuclides. The first stage since 1961, the second - since 1962. At the moment, the main activity of the chemical plant is the production of pure compounds of natural uranium (refining).
  • Chemical-Metallurgical Plant (KMZ) - melting and processing of plutonium with the production of components for nuclear weapons and special items. Manufacture of magnetic alloys and magnets from them. Production of ultrafine powders.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Разделительно-сублиматный комплекс". Tvel.ru. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Bukharin, Oleg (Spring 2001). "Downsizing Russia's Nuclear Warhead Production Infrastructure". The Nonproliferation Review: 117. 
  3. ^ "Russia no longer produces weapon materials". IPFM Blog. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  4. ^ a b "Siberian Chemical Combine (SKhK) | Facilities". www.nti.org. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  5. ^ "Russia's Nuclear Fuel Cycle | Russian Nuclear Fuel Cycle - World Nuclear Association". www.world-nuclear.org. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 

External links

  • Official website
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