Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021. Vol. 66. № 5. P. 23–32

Radiation-Hygienic Investigations of Experimental Production of Mixed Nitride Uranium-Plutonium Fuel at JSC SChC. Part 1: Methods and Results

L.A. Ilin 1, A.S. Samoylov 1, A.G.Tsovyanov 1, S.M. Shinkarev 1, N.K. Shandala 1, P.P. Gantsovsky 1, A.E. Karev 1, B.A. Kukhta 1, A.V. Simakov 1, V.N. Klochkov 1,  I.P. Korenkov1, A.M. Lyaginskaya 1, O.V. Parinov 1, V.M. Solomatin 2, K.M. Izmestyev 3

1SRC FMBC of FMBA, Moscow, Russia

2JSC Proryv, Moscow, Russia

3JSC Siberian Chemical Combine, Seversk, Russia

Contact person: Alexander Georgievich Tsovyanov: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Purpose: To present the methods and results of studies of the factors of radiation exposure to workers involved in the manufacture of mixed uranium-plutonium nitride (MUPN) fuel at the complex experimental installations CEI-1 and CEI-2 of JSC SChC.

Material and Methods: Regularities of the formation of external exposure doses have been revealed based on the study of the dynamics of the ambient dose equivalent rate (ADER) of photon and neutron radiation at the CEI-1 and CEI-2 workplaces, as well as instrumental individual dosimetric control of the equivalent doses to workers. In order to assess the inhalation intake and possible doses from internal irradiation, studies of the physicochemical properties of radioactive aerosols were carried out.

Results: It has been found that the main sources of penetrating radiation in the premises of CEI-1 are boxes where tablets are pressed, chips and rejected tablets are crushed, as well as temporary storage of products is occurred. The highest ADER values have been measured in those boxes, where the radiation exposure was due to radioactive contamination caused by past activity, and is not associated with fabrication of MUPN fuel. A significant contribution of neutron exposure to individual doses of workers was measured, which exceeded the contribution of gamma exposure at some workplaces of the CEI-1. At CEI-2, a non-functioning exhaust ventilation pipe passing over the premises was found to be a powerful source of external radiation. This pipe contained a significant amount of radioactive material. Assessment of the contribution of gamma exposure from the ventilation pipe to the external exposure of workers reached 85% at some workplaces. Studies of the physicochemical properties of radioactive aerosols have revealed a high reactivity of MUPN compounds, leading to instant oxidation of the thoracic fraction of MUPN fuel aerosols under contact with air. The complex morphological and dispersed composition of aerosol particles in combination with a complex chemical composition caused by the aging processes of aerosols, can lead to a fundamental difference in the biokinetics of MUPN aerosols, the process of dose formation and, consequently, the degree of radiological hazard compared to those adopted in the ICRP models for U and Pu.

The results of the current radiation-hygienic research are of a preliminary nature, since the object of this research is an experimental installation, which was used to develop a new technology for the production of MUPN fuel. The instrumental and methodological approaches to assess the factors of radiation exposure to workers tested at these experimental installations, will be used in the future to conduct similar studies during the pilot industrial operation of new modules for fabricating and refurbishing of MUPN fuel.

Key words: mixed nitride uranium-plutonium fuel, radiation safety, complex experimental installation, gamma and neutron exposure, radioactive aerosols

For citation: Ilin LA, Samoylov AS., Tsovyanov AG, Shinkarev SM, Shandala NK, Gantsovsky PP, Karev AE, Kukhta BA, Simakov AV, Klochkov VN, Korenkov IP, Lyaginskaya AM, Parinov OV, Solomatin VM, Izmestyev KM. Radiation-Hygienic Investigations оf Experimental Production оf Mixed Nitride Uranium-Plutonium Fuel at JSC Schc. Part 1: Methods and Results. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021;66(5):76-86.


DOI: 10.12737/1024-6177-2021-66-5-23-32


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Conflict of interest. The author declare no conflict of interest.

Financing. The study had no sponsorship.

Contribution. Article was prepared with equal participation of the authors.

Article received: 23.12.2020. 

Accepted for publication: 20.01.2021.