Nuclear Fuel Handling Equipment (Refueling Complexes)

Since 1960s, JSC “Afrikantov OKBM” has been developing, manufacturing, and supplying various types of nuclear refueling equipment.

Besides refueling, the equipment is intended for use during repair of marine and naval reactors, fast reactors (including devices for replacement and repair of pumps, heat exchangers, control rod drive mechanisms (CRDMs), refueling mechanisms, elevators, etc.), and reactor installations of nuclear district heating plants that meet safety and high tech requirements.


For the naval reactor plants, sets of refueling equipment have been developed, manufactured, and delivered to ensure the pressurization, depressurization, and removal of reactor covers, the unloading of nuclear fuel, the loading of fresh fuel, and other process operations. To optimize the fuel handling of the KLT-40 ship reactors, special devices were developed and delivered to ensure the compact stowage and transportation of spent nuclear fuel.

The refueling complex performs the entire scope of refueling during operation of multipurpose nuclear icebreakers: from the opening of the reactor and the unloading of spent fuel assemblies to the loading of new fuel assemblies in the core and the installation of the reactor equipment, and ensuring the first approach to criticality.

JSC “Afrikantov OKBM” is a developer and manufacturer of the first fuel batch equipment and the refueling complex for the RITM-200 reactors.

The first fuel batch equipment provides the entire complex of activities to load the array cores into the RITM-200 reactor units.

The nuclear fuel handling equipment ensures a high level of safety when performing nuclear hazardous transport and process operations with fuel assemblies and reactivity control means.

Patented technical solutions and certified equipment have been implemented in the design of refueling machines:

  • enhanced reliability RCCA gripper;
  • jack-type unseating mechanism;

  • two-rope main mast lifting system;

  • TV-cable reeling mechanism;

  • use of seismic fixing devices with damping units;

  • additional (emergency) brake devices.

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Refueling machine for testing at the JSC “Afrikantov OKBM” test facility

 For the VVER reactor plants, the following was designed, manufactured, and supplied:

  • Main masts for:
    - Kalinin NPP Unit 1;
    - Novovoronezh NPP Unit 5.

  • TV-masts for:
    - Rostov NPP Unit 2;
    - Kalinin NPP Unit 4;
    - Rostov NPP Units 3, 4.

  • Refueling machines for:
    - Rostov NPP Units 2, 3, and 4;
    - Rostov NPP Unit 4;
    - Leningrad NPP-2 Units 1 and 2;
    - Baltic NPP Units 1 and 2;
    - Belarusian NPP Unit 1.

  • The works on the refueling machine for Unit 2 of the Belarusian NPP are in progress.

    Refueling Equipment for Fast Reactor Power Plants

    For the BN-800 power unit, a CRDM set and a complex of equipment to handle core assemblies along the entire route of their movement within the nuclear power plant—from the fresh fuel storage to sending spent fuel assemblies to the fuel processing plant or solid waste storage—were developed and manufactured.

    Normally, the Company supplies fuel handling equipment complete with developed and manufactured automatic instrumentation and control systems.

    JSC “Afrikantov OKBM” has many years of experience in development, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of CRDMs of all types of reactor systems under development, including passive scram means.


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