Russian Seversk nuclear site decommissioned and entombed-in-place

The Pilot Demonstration Centre for Decommissioning Uranium-Graphite Reactors has chosen to remove the fuel rods and metal structures of the venerable EI-2 plutonium‑breeding reactor in Seversk and entomb the rest of the structure behind multiple safety barriers.

This is the first instance of this unusual decommissioning strategy, being a millennia‑long extension of the usual cool-down period of a closed reactor, but one that is perfectly viable for a country with no shortage of land.  The fuel rods will be stored on site until the planned deep geological repository at Nizhnekansky is built, which may yet be some time off.  The construction of the preliminary research laboratory at the site is not planned until 2024, so full operation will take far longer.

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