Problem: Nuclear energy needs to be generated with greater safety.

Solution: New nuclear reactor concepts with inherent safety need to be developed. The nuclear weapon centres could be redirected todevelop advanced nuclear energy sources.


"Conversion of Nuclear Weapon Centers: A Unique Chance to Solve the Problem of Global Energy Production"
Konstantin F. Grebyonkin Russian Federal Nuclear Center - Institute of Technical Physics Snezhinsk (former Chelyabinsk-70), Chelyabinsk region, 456770, Russia



Large-scale development of nuclear power is one of the main future directions of energy production in the countries which does not have powerful stocks of organic fuel. In many countries, for example in China, Corea and others, in near future is planned large-scale implementation of Light Water Reactor (LWR) technology working in open fuel cycle. At the moment this technology has acceptable technological parameters, which allow it to compete successfully with the technology of organic fuel burning.

However, LWR have no long-term prospect. That is why, development of nucler power installations of a new type is needed to ensure the following requirements:

1. Ensure of increased safety.
2. Effective utilization of natural resources of fissile materials.
3. Solving of the radioactive waste problem.
4. Reliable guarantees of nonproliferation of weapon materials and technologies.

Along with evolutionary development of traditional nuclear reactors and their fuel cycles, recently an increased interest is attracted to advanced nuclear power reactors.

The industrial implementation of advanced fission energy technology will require a lot of resources, at present economic conditions this is a problem. Our proposal is to redirect gradually the nuclear weapon centers on development of advanced nuclear energy sources. Nuclear weapon centers have unique technological potential, and its use in interests of development of new generation of nuclear power installations is expedient not only from the economic point of view, but also from the point of view of a deepening of conversion of military research centres, to make irreversable the process of nuclear disarmament.

For organization and support of work on reorientation Russian weapon centers to the solving of the most urgent problems of global character, International Science and Technology Center ( ISTC ) has been created. In the report some experience of VNIITF (Chelyabinsk-70) work under the ISTC project 017 will be analyzed. The purpose of the project was a feasibility study of advanced nuclear power installation.

In result of fulfilment of the project, completed in October 1996, the concept of installation had been developed, preliminary substantiationof its technical parameters had been done, formation of cooperation of Russian and foreign institutes, interested in work on the given direction, had been started. There are unique conditions for realization of experimental researches on advanced fission energy production technology at VNIITF (Chelyabinsk-70) including equipment, experimental facilities, highly skilled personnel.

Thus, the opportunity of nuclear weapon centers reorientation to work on development of new generation of nuclear power installations gives unique chance for the decision of a problem of global energy production as well as for a deepening of process of conversion of military technological potential. The practical realization of this idea could be carried out by organization of the international project under ISTC. All interested parties are invited to discussion of this proposal.


Resume: Konstantin F. Grebyonkin was graduated from Moscow Physical Engineering Institute on speciality "Theoretical Nuclear Physics" in 1977. From 1977 till now he is employee of Russian Federal Nuclear Center - Institute of Technical Physics (former "Chelyabinsk-70"), currently he is head of department. Received Ph.D. on physical designing of nuclear weapon in 1986. Current interests are nuclear weapon center conversion, advanced fission energy, computer physics.


<<< Back to Publications of RCGG