Publicatie Laka-bibliotheek:
Russia's Gaseous Centrifuge Technology And Uranium Enrichment Complex

Datumdecember 2003
Classificatie (RUSLAND - ALGEMEEN)

Uit de publicatie:

Oleg Bukharin
Program on Science and Global Security
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Princeton University
January 2004

Russia’s uranium enrichment industry was established in the late 1940s to produce 
highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for the Soviet nuclear weapon program. In the 
950s-60s, it also began manufacturing uranium for naval propulsion, research and 
power reactors. The production of HEU for weapons stopped in the late 1980s and 
the enrichment facilities currently operate to meet domestic and export 
requirements for enriched uranium and isotope separation services.
Russia’s uranium enrichment enterprise is controlled by the Ministry of Atomic 
Energy (Minatom) and comprises four large enrichment complexes: the Urals 
Electrochemical Combine (UEKhK) in Novouralsk, the Electrochemical Plant (EKhZ) 
in Zelenogorsk, the Siberian Chemical Combine (SKhK) in Seversk, and the Anagrsk 
Electrolysis and Chemical Plant (AEKhK) in Angarsk, Irkutsk region (see Appendix
 A: Soviet/Russian Uranium Enrichment Sites). All four were originally 
 established as gaseous diffusion facilities. At present, they utilize the 
 highly-efficient centrifuge isotope separation technology which enables them to
 produce enriched uranium and services at a very low cost. The SKhK and AEKhK 
 also operate industrial-scale UF6 production plants that supply the enrichment 
 facilities with feed material. The primary enrichment facilities are supported 
 by an array of R&D and manufacturing facilities, many of which are outside of 
 the Minatom system (see Table 1).
The enrichment sector is of critical importance to Minatom and the Russian 
nuclear industry. Hard currency revenues from its export operations were pivotal 
to Minatom’s survival during the post-Soviet economic and social crisis of the 
1990s, the time of collapse of many other Soviet industries. Enrichment business 
will remain at the core of Minatom’s cash-earning activities. As an element of 
Minatom’s fuel cycle complex, the enrichment enterprise is important to the 
domestic nuclear power program and Russia’s exports of nuclear power 
technologies to foreign countries.

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