Decommissioning an industrial uranium-graphite reactor (IUGR)

The decommissioning integrator provides services for decommissioning of industrial uranium-graphite reactors and irradiated reactor graphite handling

The integrator for decommissioning of nuclear and radiation hazardous facilities and RAW management has extensive experience in implementing projects for decommissioning of industrial uranium-graphite reactors (IUGR) using the “in place entombment” principle. The work includes dismantling buildings and equipment, decontaminating contaminated surfaces, creating engineered safety barriers and handing irradiated reactor graphite. The used process solutions can also be replicated to facilities abroad.

As part of decommissioning of IUGR, we perform work to create infrastructure and fill reactor plant spaces and adjacent outside reactor spaces with barrier materials, which allows us to isolate major radioactively contaminated components of equipment, building structures and radioactive waste in reactor shafts. Safety barriers exclude the possibility of access to RAW containment area and minimize the threat of radioactive substances getting into the environment

The decommissioning integrator addresses one of the critical tasks of IUGR decommissioning - the management of radioactive waste from uranium-graphite reactors. After the graphite stack is removed from the reactor, work is carried out on RAW description - determination of specific radioactivity, decontamination and segmenting. We also deal with final isolation of radioactive waste from graphite reactors, as well as dismantling of waste repositories and rehabilitation of adjacent areas.


The world’s first project to decommission an industrial uranium-graphite reactor using the “in place entombment” principle was implemented at the reactor plant site of Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk, Tomsk Region, in 2015. The EI-2 power industrial reactor was decommissioned by specialists of Pilot and Demonstration Center for Decommissioning of Uranium-Graphite Nuclear Reactors JSC, which is a stakeholder in the business line for decommissioning of nuclear and radiation hazardous facilities. At present, the site of the EI-2 nuclear reactor building houses a special RAW preservation facility, where radiation contaminated elements of the reactor structure are reliably isolated from the environment.
In 2023, decommissioning of two AD and ADE-1 industrial uranium-graphite reactors was completed at the site of Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC FSUE) in Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk region. Both IUGRs were single-purpose thermal neutron flow-type reactors located in a rock mass.
As part of the preparation of facilities for decommissioning of MCC FSUE, the enterprise, as part of the decommissioning integrator, dismantled radiation contaminated process equipment. Large-scale practical work included concreting the reactor bottom and filling the near-reactor premises with barrier materials (clay). Thus, a monolithic structure has been created around the graphite stack of the reactor, which prevents radionuclides in the irradiated graphite from entering the environment. 
The decommissioning of the last ADE-2 industrial uranium-graphite reactor of MCC FSUE, which is in the state of final shutdown and will be decommissioned by the end of 2035, is next in line

Ring of sites TVEL