Research Reactor Section

IAEA Support of Research Reactor HEU to LEU Fuel Conversion


Conversion of the Portuguese reactor was completed under TC project POR/4/016 “Core Conversion of the Portuguese Research Reactor (RPI) to LEU”. The objectives of the project were: to convert the HEU fuel core of the RPI to LEU fuel and return the HEU spent fuel to the USA within the framework of an agreement signed by Portugal and the US Department of Energy (DOE) under the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel (FRR SNF) Acceptance Program.

The IAEA issued a call for tenders for LEU fuel, convened an independent international expert consultancy meeting to evaluate the offers and selected Compagnie pour l’Etude et la Réalisation de Combustibles Atomiques (CERCA) as the preferred tender. In January 2007 an independent fuel inspection was completed at the manufacturer’s facilities. The conversion was complete in 2007.

During 2008, IAEA organized another international tender for technical services related to the packaging and transport of fresh and spent HEU back to the United States.

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