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Title 15Subtitle BChapter VIISubchapter D → Part 783


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade


PART 783—CIVIL NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE-RELATED ACTIVITIES NOT INVOLVING NUCLEAR MATERIALS


Contents
§783.1   Reporting requirements.
§783.2   Amended reports.
§783.3   Reports containing information determined by BIS not to be required by the APR.
§783.4   Deadlines for submission of reports and amendments.
Supplement No. 1 to Part 783—Deadlines for Submission of Reports and Amendments
Supplement No. 2 to Part 783—Manufacturing Activities
Supplement No. 3 to Part 783—List of Specified Equipment and Non-Nuclear Material for the Reporting of Imports

Authority: United States Additional Protocol Implementation Act of 2006, Pub. Law No. 109-401, 120 Stat. 2726 (December 18, 2006) (to be codified at 22 U.S.C. 8101-8181); Executive Order 13458 (February 4, 2008).

Source: 73 FR 65128, Oct. 31, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

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§783.1   Reporting requirements.

(a) Initial report. You must submit an Initial Report to BIS, no later than December 1, 2008 (see supplement no. 1 to this part), if you were engaged in any of the civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities described in this paragraph (a) on October 31, 2008 or you were engaged in any such activities involving uranium hard-rock mines, including those that were closed down during calendar year 2008, (up to and including October 31, 2008). If you commenced any of the civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities described in this paragraph (a) after October 31, 2008, you must submit an Initial Report on these activities to BIS no later than January 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the activities commenced (see supplement no. 1 to this part). You may report these activities as part of your Annual Update Report, in lieu of submitting a separate Initial Report, if you also have an Annual Update Report requirement that applies to the same location and covers the same reporting period (see paragraph (b) of this section). In order to satisfy the Initial Report requirements under this paragraph (a), you must complete and submit to BIS Form AP-1, Form AP-2, and other appropriate Forms, as provided in this paragraph (a).

(1) Research and development activities not involving nuclear material. You must report to BIS any of the civil nuclear fuel cycle-related research and development activities identified in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (a)(1)(ii) of this section. Activities subject to these APR reporting requirements include research and development activities related to safe equipment operations for a nuclear fuel cycle-related activity, but do not include activities related to theoretical or basic scientific research or to research and development on industrial radioisotope applications, medical, hydrological and agricultural applications, health and environmental effects and improved maintenance.

(i) You must complete Form AP-3 and submit it to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, if you conducted any civil nuclear fuel cycle-related research and development activities defined in §781.1 of the APR that:

(A) Did not involve nuclear material; and

(B) Were funded, specifically authorized or controlled by, or conducted on behalf of, the United States.

(ii) You must complete Form AP-4 and submit it to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, if you conducted any civil nuclear fuel cycle-related research and development activities defined in §781.1 of the APR that:

(A) Did not involve nuclear material;

(B) Were specifically related to enrichment, reprocessing of nuclear fuel, or the processing of intermediate or high-level waste containing plutonium, high enriched uranium or uranium-233 (where “processing” involves the separation of elements); and

(C) Were not funded, specifically authorized or controlled by, or conducted on behalf of, the United States.

(2) Civil nuclear-related manufacturing, assembly or construction activities. You must complete Form AP-5 and submit it to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, if you engaged in any of the activities specified in supplement no. 2 to this part.

(3) Uranium hard-rock mining and ore beneficiation activities. You must complete Form AP-6 and submit it to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, if your location is either a uranium hard-rock mine or an ore beneficiation plant that was in operating or suspended status (see §781.1 of the APR for the definitions of “uranium hard-rock mine” and uranium hard-rock mines in “operating,” “suspended,” or “closed-down” status).

(i) The Initial Report requirement for calendar year 2008 applies to:

(A) Uranium hard-rock mines or ore beneficiation plants that were in operating or suspended status on October 31, 2008; and

(B) Uranium hard-rock mines that have changed from operating or suspended status to closed-down status during calendar year 2008 (up to and including October 31, 2008). Mines that were closed down prior to calendar year 2008 and that remain in closed-down status do not have a reporting requirement.

(ii) You are required to submit an Initial Report to BIS, for any calendar year that follows calendar year 2008, only if you commenced operations at a uranium hard-rock mine or an ore beneficiation plant during the previous calendar year (e.g., the commencement of operations would include, but not be limited to, the resumption of operations at a mine that was previously in “closed-down” status). Otherwise, see the Annual Update Report and No Changes Report requirements in paragraphs (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section. For example, you must submit an Annual Update Report to indicate the closed-down status of any uranium hard-rock mine that was indicated in your most recent report to be in either operating or suspended status, but at which you ceased operations during the previous calendar year.

(b) Annual reporting requirements. You must submit either an Annual Update Report or a No Changes Report to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, if, during the previous calendar year, you continued to engage in civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities at a location for which you submitted an Initial Report to BIS in accordance with the APR reporting requirements described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(1) Annual Update Report. You must submit an Annual Update Report to BIS if you have updates or changes to report concerning your location's activities during the previous calendar year. When preparing your Annual Update Report, you must complete the same report forms that you used for submitting your Initial Report on these activities. However, additional report forms will be required if your location engaged in any civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities described in paragraph (a) of this section that you did not previously report to BIS. The appropriate report forms for each type of activity that must be reported under the APR are identified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section. You must submit your Annual Update Report to BIS no later than January 31 of the year following any calendar year in which the activities took place or there were changes to previously “reported” activities (see supplement no. 1 to this part).

(2) No Changes Report. You may submit a No Changes Report, in lieu of an Annual Update Report, if you have no updates or changes concerning your location's activities (except the certifying official and dates signed and submitted) since your most recent report of activities to BIS. In order to satisfy the reporting requirements under this paragraph (b)(2), you must complete Form AP-16 and submit it to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, no later than January 31 of the year following any calendar year in which there were no changes to previously “reported” activities or location information (see supplement no. 1 to this part).

(3) Additional guidance on annual reporting requirements. (i) If your Initial Report or your most recent Annual Update Report for a location indicates that all civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities described therein have ceased at that location, and no other reportable activities have occurred during the previous calendar year, then you do not have a reporting requirement for the location under paragraph (b) of this section.

(ii) If your location ceases to engage in activities subject to the APR reporting requirements described in paragraph (a) of this section, and you have not previously reported this to BIS, you must submit an Annual Update Report covering the calendar year in which you ceased to engage in such activities.

(iii) Closed-down mines should be reported only once.

(c) Import Confirmation Report. You must complete Forms AP-1, AP-2 and AP-14 for each import of equipment or non-nuclear material identified in supplement no. 3 to this part and submit these forms to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, if BIS sends you written notification requiring that you provide information concerning imports of such equipment and non-nuclear material. These Forms must be submitted within 30 calendar days of the date that you receive written notification of this requirement from BIS (see supplement no. 1 to this part). BIS will provide such notification when it receives a request from the IAEA for information concerning imports of this type of equipment or non-nuclear material. The IAEA may request this information to verify that you received specified equipment or non-nuclear material that was shipped to you by a person, organization, or government from a foreign country.

(d) Supplemental Information Report. You must complete Forms AP-1, AP-2 and AP-15 and submit them to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, if BIS sends you written notification requiring that you provide information about the activities conducted at your location, insofar as relevant for the purpose of safeguards. These Forms must be submitted within 15 calendar days of the date that you receive written notification of this requirement from BIS (see supplement no. 1 to this part). BIS will provide such notification only if the IAEA specifically requests amplification or clarification concerning any information provided in the U.S. Declaration based on your report(s).

(e) Reportable location. A location that must submit an Initial Report, Annual Update Report, or No Changes Report to BIS, pursuant to the requirements of this section, is considered to be a reportable location with declared activities.

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§783.2   Amended reports.

In order for BIS to maintain accurate information on previously submitted reports, including information necessary for BIS to facilitate complementary access notifications or to communicate reporting requirements under the APR, Amended Reports are required under the circumstances described in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of this section. This section applies only to changes affecting Initial Reports and Annual Update Reports that were submitted to BIS in accordance with the requirements of §783.1(a) and (b) of the APR. The specific report forms that you must use to prepare and submit an Amended Report will depend upon the type of information that you are required to provide, pursuant to this section.

(a) Changes to activity information. You must submit an Amended Report to BIS within 30 calendar days of the time that you discover an error or omission in your most recent Initial Report or Annual Update Report that involves information concerning an activity subject to the reporting requirements described in §783.1(a) or (b) of the APR. Use Form AP-1, and any applicable report forms indicated for the activities identified in §783.1(a) of the APR, to prepare your Amended Report. Submit your Amended Report to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR.

(b) Changes to organization and location information that must be maintained by BIS—(1) Internal organization changes. You must submit an Amended Report to BIS within 30 calendar days of any change in the following information (use Form AP-1 to prepare your Amended Report and submit it to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR):

(i) Name of report point of contact (R-POC), including telephone number, facsimile number, and e-mail address;

(ii) Name(s) of complementary access point(s) of contact (A-POC), including telephone number(s), facsimile number(s) and e-mail address(es);

(iii) Organization name;

(iv) Organization mailing address;

(v) Location owner, including telephone number, and facsimile number; or

(vi) Location operator, including telephone number, and facsimile number.

(2) Change in ownership of organization. You must submit an Amended Report to BIS if you sold a reportable location or if your reportable location went out of business since submitting your most recent Initial Report, Annual Update Report, or No Changes Report to BIS. You must also submit an Amended Report to BIS if you purchased a reportable location that submitted an Initial Report, Annual Update Report, or No Changes Report to BIS for the most recent reporting period, as specified in §783.1(a) and (b) of the APR. Submit your Amended Report to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, either before the effective date of the change in ownership or within 30 calendar days after the effective date of the change.

(i) The following information must be included in an Amended Report submitted to BIS by an organization that is selling or that has sold a reportable location (use Forms AP-1 and AP-16 to prepare your Amended Report—address specific details regarding the sale of a reportable location in Form AP-16):

(A) Name of seller (i.e., name of the organization selling a reportable location);

(B) Reporting Code (this code will be assigned to your location and reported to you by BIS after receipt of your Initial Report);

(C) Name of purchaser (i.e., name of the new organization/owner purchasing a reportable location) and name and address of contact person for the purchaser, if known;

(D) Date of ownership transfer or change;

(E) Additional details on the sale of the reportable location relevant to ownership or operational control over any portion of the reportable location (e.g., whether the entire location or only a portion of the reportable location has been sold to a new owner); and

(F) Details regarding whether the new owner of a reportable location will submit the next report for the entire calendar year in which the ownership change occurred, or whether the previous owner and new owner will submit separate reports for the periods of the calendar year during which each owned the reportable location.

(ii) The following information must be included in an Amended Report submitted to BIS by an organization that is purchasing or that has purchased a reportable location (use Forms AP-1 and AP-2 to prepare your Amended Report):

(A) Name of purchaser (i.e., name of the new organization/owner purchasing a reportable location) and name and address of contact person for the purchaser;

(B) Details on the purchase of the reportable location relevant to ownership or operational control over any portion of the reportable location (e.g., whether the purchaser intends to purchase and to maintain operational control over the entire location or only a portion of the reportable location); and

(C) Details on whether the purchaser intends to continue existing civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities at the reportable location or to cease such activities during the current reporting period.

(iii) If the new owner of a reportable location is responsible for submitting a report that covers the entire calendar year in which the ownership change occurred, the new owner must obtain and maintain possession of the location's records covering the entire year, including those records for the period of the year during which the previous owner still owned the property.

Note 1 to §783.2(b): Amended Reports that are submitted to identify changes involving internal organization information or changes in ownership are used only for internal U.S. Government purposes and are not forwarded to the IAEA. BIS uses the information it obtains from Amended Reports to update contact information for internal oversight purposes and for IAEA complementary access notifications.

Note 2 to §783.2(b): For ownership changes, the reportable location will maintain its original Reporting Code, unless the location is sold to multiple owners, at which time BIS will assign a new Reporting Code.

(c) Non-substantive changes. If you discover one or more non-substantive typographical errors in your Initial Report or Annual Update Report, after submitting the report to BIS, you are not required to submit an Amended Report to BIS. Instead, you may correct these errors when you submit your next Annual Update Report to BIS.

(d) Amendments related to complementary access. If you are required to submit an Amended Report to BIS following the completion of complementary access (see Part 784 of the APR), BIS will notify you, in writing, of the information that must be amended pursuant to §784.6 of the APR. Complete and submit Form AP-1 (organization information) and/or the specific report forms required by section 783.1(a) or (b) of the APR, according to the type(s) of activities for which information is being requested. You must submit your Amended Report to BIS, as provided in §782.6 of the APR, no later than 30 calendar days following your receipt of BIS's post complementary access letter.

(e) Option for submitting amended reports in letter form. If you are required to submit an Amended Report to BIS, pursuant to paragraph (a), (b), or (d) of this section, BIS may permit you to submit your report in the form of a letter that contains all of the corrected information required under this section. Your letter must be submitted to BIS, at the address indicated in §782.6 of the APR, no later than the applicable due date(s) indicated in this section (also see supplement no. 1 to this part).

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§783.3   Reports containing information determined by BIS not to be required by the APR.

If you submit a report and BIS determines that none of the information contained therein is required by the APR, BIS will not process the report and will notify you, either electronically or in writing, explaining the basis for its decision. BIS will not maintain any record of the report. However, BIS will maintain a copy of the notification.

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§783.4   Deadlines for submission of reports and amendments.

Reports and amendments required under this part must be postmarked by the appropriate date identified in supplement no. 1 to this part 783. Required reports and amendments include those identified in paragraphs (a) through (g) of this section.

(a) Initial Report: Submitted by a location that commenced one or more of the civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities described in §783.1(a) of the APR during the previous calendar year, but that has not yet reported such activities to BIS. However, Initial Reports that are submitted to BIS during calendar year 2008 must describe only those activities in which you are engaged as of October 31, 2008, except that the description of activities involving uranium hard-rock mines must include any such mines that were closed down during calendar year 2008 (up to and including October 31, 2008), as well as mines that were in either operating or suspended status on October 31, 2008 (see §783.1(a)(3)(i) of the APR).

(b) Annual Update Report: Submitted by a reportable location—this report describes changes to previously reported (i.e., declared) activities and any other reportable civil nuclear fuel cycle-related activities that took place at the location during the previous calendar year.

(c) No Changes Report: Submitted by a reportable location, in lieu of an Annual Update Report, when there are no updates or changes to any information, excluding the certifying official and dates signed and submitted, since the previous report submitted by that location.

(d) Import Confirmation Report: Submitted in response to a written notification from BIS, following a specific request by the IAEA.

(e) Supplemental Information Report: Submitted in response to a written notification from BIS, following a specific request by the IAEA.

(f) Amended Report: Submitted by a reportable location to report certain changes affecting the location's most recent Initial Report or Annual Update Report.

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Supplement No. 1 to Part 783—Deadlines for Submission of Reports and Amendments

Reports Applicable forms Due dates
Initial ReportForms AP-1 and AP-2 and:
—AP-3 or AP-4 for R&D activities;
—AP-5 for civil nuclear-related manufacturing, assembly or construction; and
—AP-6 for mining and ore beneficiation
December 1, 2008 for:
(1) Any activities in which you were engaged on October 31, 2008 and
(2) uranium hard-rock mines that have changed from operating or suspended status to closed-down status during calendar year 2008 (up to and including October 31, 2008).
   For activities commencing after October 31, 2008, Initial Reports must be submitted no later than January 31 of the year following any calendar year in which the activities began, unless you are required to submit an Annual Update Report because of on-going previously “reported” activities at the same location—in that case, you may include the new activities in your Annual Update Report, instead of submitting a separate Initial Report.
Annual Update ReportForms AP-1 and AP-2 and:
—AP-3 or AP-4 for R&D activities;
—AP-5 for civil nuclear-related manufacturing, assembly or construction; and
January 31 of the year following any calendar year in which the activities took place or there were changes to previously “reported” activities.
      
—AP-6 for mining and ore beneficiation
No Changes ReportForm AP-17January 31 of the year following any calendar year in which there were no changes to previously “reported” activities or location information.
Import Confirmation ReportForms AP-1, AP-2, and AP-14Within 30 calendar days of receiving notification from BIS.
Supplemental Information ReportForms AP-1, AP-2, and AP-15Within 15 calendar days of receiving notification from BIS.
Amended Report:
—Report information
—Organization and location information
—Complementary access letter
Form AP-1 and appropriate forms, as specified in §783.1 of the APR, for the type of report being amendedAmended report due:
—30 calendar days after you discover an error or omission in activity information contained in your most recent report.
—30 calendar days after a change in company information or ownership of a location.
—30 calendar days after receipt of a post-complementary access letter from BIS.

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Supplement No. 2 to Part 783—Manufacturing Activities

The following constitute manufacturing activities that require the submission of a report to BIS, pursuant to §783.1(a)(2) of the APR.

(1) The manufacture of centrifuge rotor tubes or the assembly of gas centrifuges. Centrifuge rotor tubes means thin-walled cylinders as described in section 5.1.1(b) of supplement no. 3 to this part. Gas centrifuges means centrifuges as described in the Introductory Note to section 5.1 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(2) The manufacture of diffusion barriers. Diffusion barriers means thin, porous filters as described in section 5.3.1(a) of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(3) The manufacture or assembly of laser-based systems. Laser-based systems means systems incorporating those items as described in section 5.7 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(4) The manufacture or assembly of electromagnetic isotope separators. Electromagnetic isotope separators means those items referred to in Section 5.9.1 of supplement no. 3 to this part containing ion sources as described in section 5.9.1(a) of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(5) The manufacture or assembly of columns or extraction equipment. Columns or extraction equipment means those items as described in sections 5.6.1, 5.6.2, 5.6.3, 5.6.5, 5.6.6, 5.6.7, and 5.6.8 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(6) The manufacture of aerodynamic separation nozzles or vortex tubes. Aerodynamic separation nozzles or vortex tubes means separation nozzles and vortex tubes as described, respectively, in sections 5.5.1 and 5.5.2 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(7) The manufacture or assembly of uranium plasma generation systems. Uranium plasma generation systems means systems for the generation of uranium plasma as described in section 5.8.3 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(8) The manufacture of zirconium tubes. zirconium tubes means tubes as described in section 1.6 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(9) The manufacture or upgrading of heavy water or deuterium. Heavy water or deuterium means deuterium, heavy water (deuterium oxide) and any other deuterium compound in which the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen atoms exceeds 1:5000.

(10) The manufacture of nuclear grade graphite. Nuclear grade graphite means graphite having a purity level better than 5 parts per million boron equivalent and with a density greater than 1.50 g/cm3;

(11) The manufacture of flasks for irradiated fuel. A flask for irradiated fuel means a vessel for the transportation and/or storage of irradiated fuel that provides chemical, thermal and radiological protection, and dissipates decay heat during handling, transportation and storage.

(12) The manufacture of reactor control rods. Reactor control rods means rods as described in section 1.4 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(13) The manufacture of critically safe tanks and vessels. Critically safe tanks and vessels means those items as described in sections 3.2 and 3.4 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(14) The manufacture of irradiated fuel element chopping machines. Irradiated fuel element chopping machines means equipment as described in section 3.1 of supplement no. 3 to this part.

(15) The construction of hot cells. Hot cells means a cell or interconnected cells totaling at least 6 cubic meters in volume with shielding equal to or greater than the equivalent of 0.5 meters of concrete, with a density of 3.2 g/cm3 or greater, outfitted with equipment for remote operations.

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Supplement No. 3 to Part 783—List of Specified Equipment and Non-Nuclear Material for the Reporting of Imports

1. Reactors and equipment therefor

1.1. Complete nuclear reactors

Nuclear reactors capable of operation so as to maintain a controlled self-sustaining fission chain reaction, excluding zero energy reactors, the latter being defined as reactors with a designed maximum rate of production of plutonium not exceeding 100 grams per year.

Explanatory Note: A “nuclear reactor” basically includes the items within or attached directly to the reactor vessel, the equipment which controls the level of power in the core, and the components which normally contain or come in direct contact with or control the primary coolant of the reactor core. It is not intended to exclude reactors which could reasonably be capable of modification to produce significantly more than 100 grams of plutonium per year. Reactors designed for sustained operation at significant power levels, regardless of their capacity for plutonium production, are not considered as “zero energy reactors.”

1.2. Reactor pressure vessels

Metal vessels, as complete units or as major shop-fabricated parts therefor, which are specially designed or prepared to contain the core of a nuclear reactor, as defined in section 1.1, and are capable of withstanding the operating pressure of the primary coolant.

Explanatory Note: This is the list that the IAEA Board of Governors agreed at its meeting on 24 February 1993 would be used for the purpose of the voluntary reporting scheme, as subsequently amended by the Board. A top plate for a reactor pressure vessel is covered by this section 1.2 as a major shop-fabricated part of a pressure vessel. Reactor internals (e.g., support columns and plates for the core and other vessel internals, control rod guide tubes, thermal shields, baffles, core grid plates, diffuser plates, etc.) are normally supplied by the reactor supplier. In some cases, certain internal support components are included in the fabrication of the pressure vessel. These items are sufficiently critical to the safety and reliability of the operation of the reactor (and, therefore, to the guarantees and liability of the reactor supplier), so that their supply, outside the basic supply arrangement for the reactor itself, would not be common practice. Therefore, although the separate supply of these unique, specially designed and prepared, critical, large and expensive items would not necessarily be considered as falling outside the area of concern, such a mode of supply is considered unlikely.

1.3. Reactor fuel charging and discharging machines

Manipulative equipment specially designed or prepared for inserting or removing fuel in a nuclear reactor, as defined in section 1.1 of this Supplement, capable of on-load operation or employing technically sophisticated positioning or alignment features to allow complex off-load fueling operations such as those in which direct viewing of or access to the fuel is not normally available.

1.4. Reactor control rods

Rods specially designed or prepared for the control of the reaction rate in a nuclear reactor as defined in section 1.1 of this Supplement.

Explanatory Note: This item includes, in addition to the neutron absorbing part, the support or suspension structures therefor if supplied separately.

1.5. Reactor pressure tubes

Tubes which are specially designed or prepared to contain fuel elements and the primary coolant in a reactor, as defined in section 1.1 of this supplement, at an operating pressure in excess of 5.1 MPa (740 psi).

1.6. Zirconium tubes

Zirconium metal and alloys in the form of tubes or assemblies of tubes, and in quantities exceeding 500 kg in any period of 12 months, specially designed or prepared for use in a reactor, as defined in section 1.1 of this supplement, and in which the relation of hafnium to zirconium is less than 1:500 parts by weight.

1.7. Primary coolant pumps

Pumps specially designed or prepared for circulating the primary coolant for nuclear reactors, as defined in section 1.1 of this Supplement.

Explanatory Note: Specially designed or prepared pumps may include elaborate sealed or multi-sealed systems to prevent leakage of primary coolant, canned-driven pumps, and pumps with inertial mass systems. This definition encompasses pumps certified to NC-1 or equivalent standards.

2. Non-nuclear materials for reactors

2.1. Deuterium and heavy water

Deuterium, heavy water (deuterium oxide) and any other deuterium compound in which the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen atoms exceeds 1:5000 for use in a nuclear reactor, as defined in section 1.1 of this supplement, in quantities exceeding 200 kg of deuterium atoms for any one recipient country in any period of 12 months.

2.2. Nuclear grade graphite

Graphite having a purity level better than 5 parts per million boron equivalent and with a density greater than 1.50 g/cm3 for use in a nuclear reactor, as defined in section 1.1 of this Supplement, in quantities exceeding 3 × 104 kg (30 metric tons) for any one recipient country in any period of 12 months.

Note: For the purpose of reporting, the Government will determine whether or not the exports of graphite meeting the specifications of this section 2.2 are for nuclear reactor use.

3. Plants for the reprocessing of irradiated fuel elements, and equipment specially designed or prepared therefor

Introductory Note: Reprocessing irradiated nuclear fuel separates plutonium and uranium from intensely radioactive fission products and other transuranic elements. Different technical processes can accomplish this separation. However, over the years Purex has become the most commonly used and accepted process. Purex involves the dissolution of irradiated nuclear fuel in nitric acid, followed by separation of the uranium, plutonium, and fission products by solvent extraction using a mixture of tributyl phosphate in an organic diluent. Purex facilities have process functions similar to each other, including: Irradiated fuel element chopping, fuel dissolution, solvent extraction, and process liquor storage. There may also be equipment for thermal denitration of uranium nitrate, conversion of plutonium nitrate to oxide or metal, and treatment of fission product waste liquor to a form suitable for long term storage or disposal. However, the specific type and configuration of the equipment performing these functions may differ between Purex facilities for several reasons, including the type and quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel to be reprocessed and the intended disposition of the recovered materials, and the safety and maintenance philosophy incorporated into the design of the facility. A “plant for the reprocessing of irradiated fuel elements” includes the equipment and components which normally come in direct contact with and directly control the irradiated fuel and the major nuclear material and fission product processing streams. These processes, including the complete systems for plutonium conversion and plutonium metal production, may be identified by the measures taken to avoid criticality (e.g., by geometry), radiation exposure (e.g., by shielding), and toxicity hazards (e.g., by containment). Items of equipment that are considered to fall within the meaning of the phrase “and equipment specially designed or prepared” for the reprocessing of irradiated fuel elements include:

3.1. Irradiated fuel element chopping machines

Introductory Note: This equipment breaches the cladding of the fuel to expose the irradiated nuclear material to dissolution. Specially designed metal cutting shears are the most commonly employed, although advanced equipment, such as lasers, may be used. Remotely operated equipment specially designed or prepared for use in a reprocessing plant, as identified in the introductory paragraph of this section, and intended to cut, chop or shear irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies, bundles or rods.

3.2. Dissolvers

Introductory Note: Dissolvers normally receive the chopped-up spent fuel. In these critically safe vessels, the irradiated nuclear material is dissolved in nitric acid and the remaining hulls removed from the process stream. Critically safe tanks (e.g., small diameter, annular or slab tanks) specially designed or prepared for use in a reprocessing plant, as identified in the introductory paragraph of this section, intended for dissolution of irradiated nuclear fuel and which are capable of withstanding hot, highly corrosive liquid, and which can be remotely loaded and maintained.

3.3. Solvent extractors and solvent extraction equipment

Introductory Note: Solvent extractors both receive the solution of irradiated fuel from the dissolvers and the organic solution which separates the uranium, plutonium, and fission products. Solvent extraction equipment is normally designed to meet strict operating parameters, such as long operating lifetimes with no maintenance requirements or adaptability to easy replacement, simplicity of operation and control, and flexibility for variations in process conditions. Specially designed or prepared solvent extractors such as packed or pulse columns, mixer settlers or centrifugal contactors for use in a plant for the reprocessing of irradiated fuel. Solvent extractors must be resistant to the corrosive effect of nitric acid. Solvent extractors are normally fabricated to extremely high standards (including special welding and inspection and quality assurance and quality control techniques) out of low carbon stainless steels, titanium, zirconium, or other high quality materials.

3.4. Chemical holding or storage vessels

Introductory Note: Three main process liquor streams result from the solvent extraction step. Holding or storage vessels are used in the further processing of all three streams, as follows:

(a) The pure uranium nitrate solution is concentrated by evaporation and passed to a denitration process where it is converted to uranium oxide. This oxide is re-used in the nuclear fuel cycle.

(b) The intensely radioactive fission products solution is normally concentrated by evaporation and stored as a liquor concentrate. This concentrate may be subsequently evaporated and converted to a form suitable for storage or disposal.

(c) The pure plutonium nitrate solution is concentrated and stored pending its transfer to further process steps. In particular, holding or storage vessels for plutonium solutions are designed to avoid criticality problems resulting from changes in concentration and form of this stream. Specially designed or prepared holding or storage vessels for use in a plant for the reprocessing of irradiated fuel. The holding or storage vessels must be resistant to the corrosive effect of nitric acid. The holding or storage vessels are normally fabricated of materials such as low carbon stainless steels, titanium or zirconium, or other high quality materials. Holding or storage vessels may be designed for remote operation and maintenance and may have the following features for control of nuclear criticality: (1) Walls or internal structures with a boron equivalent of at least two percent; (2) a maximum diameter of 175 mm (7 in) for cylindrical vessels; or (3) a maximum width of 75 mm (3 in) for either a slab or annular vessel.

3.5. Plutonium nitrate to oxide conversion system

Introductory Note: In most reprocessing facilities, this final process involves the conversion of the plutonium nitrate solution to plutonium dioxide. The main functions involved in this process are: process feed storage and adjustment, precipitation and solid/liquor separation, calcination, product handling, ventilation, waste management, and process control. Complete systems specially designed or prepared for the conversion of plutonium nitrate to plutonium oxide, in particular adapted so as to avoid criticality and radiation effects and to minimize toxicity hazards.

3.6. Plutonium oxide to metal production system

Introductory Note: This process, which could be related to a reprocessing facility, involves the fluorination of plutonium dioxide, normally with highly corrosive hydrogen fluoride, to produce plutonium fluoride which is subsequently reduced using high purity calcium metal to produce metallic plutonium and a calcium fluoride slag. The main functions involved in this process are: fluorination (e.g., involving equipment fabricated or lined with a precious metal), metal reduction (e.g., employing ceramic crucibles), slag recovery, product handling, ventilation, waste management and process control. Complete systems specially designed or prepared for the production of plutonium metal, in particular adapted so as to avoid criticality and radiation effects and to minimize toxicity hazards.

4. Plants for the fabrication of fuel elements

A “plant for the fabrication of fuel elements” includes the equipment:

(a) Which normally comes in direct contact with, or directly processes, or controls, the production flow of nuclear material, or

(b) Which seals the nuclear material within the cladding.

5. Plants for the separation of isotopes of uranium and equipment, other than analytical instruments, specially designed or prepared therefor

Items of equipment that are considered to fall within the meaning of the phrase “equipment, other than analytical instruments, specially designed or prepared” for the separation of isotopes of uranium include:

5.1. Gas centrifuges and assemblies and components specially designed or prepared for use in gas centrifuges

Introductory Note: The gas centrifuge normally consists of a thin-walled cylinder(s) of between 75 mm (3 in) and 400 mm (16 in) diameter contained in a vacuum environment and spun at high peripheral speed of the order of 300 m/s or more with its central axis vertical. In order to achieve high speed the materials of construction for the rotating components have to be of a high strength to density ratio and the rotor assembly, and hence its individual components, have to be manufactured to very close tolerances in order to minimize the unbalance. In contrast to other centrifuges, the gas centrifuge for uranium enrichment is characterized by having within the rotor chamber a rotating disc-shaped baffle(s) and a stationary tube arrangement for feeding and extracting the UF6 gas and featuring at least 3 separate channels, of which 2 are connected to scoops extending from the rotor axis towards the periphery of the rotor chamber. Also contained within the vacuum environment are a number of critical items which do not rotate and which although they are specially designed are not difficult to fabricate nor are they fabricated out of unique materials. A centrifuge facility however requires a large number of these components, so that quantities can provide an important indication of end use.

5.1.1. Rotating components

(a) Complete rotor assemblies: Thin-walled cylinders, or a number of interconnected thin-walled cylinders, manufactured from one or more of the high strength to density ratio materials described in the Explanatory Note to section 5.1.1 of this supplement. If interconnected, the cylinders are joined together by flexible bellows or rings as described in section 5.1.1(c) of this supplement. The rotor is fitted with an internal baffle(s) and end caps, as described in section 5.1.1(d) and (e) of this supplement, if in final form. However the complete assembly may be delivered only partly assembled.

(b) Rotor tubes: Specially designed or prepared thin-walled cylinders with thickness of 12 mm (0.5 in) or less, a diameter of between 75 mm (3 in) and 400 mm (16 in), and manufactured from one or more of the high strength to density ratio materials described in the Explanatory Note to section 5.1.1 of this supplement.

(c) Rings or Bellows: Components specially designed or prepared to give localized support to the rotor tube or to join together a number of rotor tubes. The bellows is a short cylinder of wall thickness 3 mm (0.12 in) or less, a diameter of between 75 mm (3 in) and 400 mm (16 in), having a convolute, and manufactured from one of the high strength to density ratio materials described in the Explanatory Note to section 5.1.1 of this supplement.

(d) Baffles: Disc-shaped components of between 75 mm (3 in) and 400 mm (16 in) diameter specially designed or prepared to be mounted inside the centrifuge rotor tube, in order to isolate the take-off chamber from the main separation chamber and, in some cases, to assist the UF6 gas circulation within the main separation chamber of the rotor tube, and manufactured from one of the high strength to density ratio materials described in the Explanatory Note to section 5.1.1 of this supplement.

(e) Top caps/Bottom caps: Disc-shaped components of between 75 mm (3 in) and 400 mm (16 in) diameter specially designed or prepared to fit to the ends of the rotor tube, and so contain the UF6 within the rotor tube, and in some cases to support, retain or contain as an integrated part an element of the upper bearing (top cap) or to carry the rotating elements of the motor and lower bearing (bottom cap), and manufactured from one of the high strength to density ratio materials described in the Explanatory Note to section 5.1.1 of this supplement.

Explanatory Note: The materials used for centrifuge rotating components are:

(a) Maraging steel capable of an ultimate tensile strength of 2.05 × 109 N/m2 (300,000 psi) or more;

(b) Aluminum alloys capable of an ultimate tensile strength of 0.46 × 109 N/m2 (67,000 psi) or more;

(c) Filamentary materials suitable for use in composite structures and having a specific modulus of 12.3 × 106 m or greater and a specific ultimate tensile strength of 0.3 × 106 m or greater (“Specific Modulus” is the Young's Modulus in N/m2 divided by the specific weight in N/m3; “Specific Ultimate Tensile Strength” is the ultimate tensile strength in N/m2 divided by the specific weight in N/m3).

5.1.2. Static components

(a) Magnetic suspension bearings: Specially designed or prepared bearing assemblies consisting of an annular magnet suspended within a housing containing a damping medium. The housing will be manufactured from a UF6-resistant material (see Explanatory Note to section 5.2 of this supplement). The magnet couples with a pole piece or a second magnet fitted to the top cap described in section 5.1.1(e) of this Supplement. The magnet may be ring-shaped with a relation between outer and inner diameter smaller or equal to 1.6:1. The magnet may be in a form having an initial permeability of 0.15 H/m (120,000 in CGS units) or more, or a remanence of 98.5% or more, or an energy product of greater than 80 kJ/m3 (107 gauss-oersteds). In addition to the usual material properties, it is a prerequisite that the deviation of the magnetic axes from the geometrical axes is limited to very small tolerances (lower than 0.1 mm or 0.004 in) or that homogeneity of the material of the magnet is specially called for.

(b) Bearings/Dampers: Specially designed or prepared bearings comprising a pivot/cup assembly mounted on a damper. The pivot is normally a hardened steel shaft with a hemisphere at one end with a means of attachment to the bottom cap, described in section 5.1.1(e) of this Supplement, at the other. The shaft may however have a hydrodynamic bearing attached. The cup is pellet-shaped with a hemispherical indentation in one surface. These components are often supplied separately to the damper.

(c) Molecular pumps: Specially designed or prepared cylinders having internally machined or extruded helical grooves and internally machined bores. Typical dimensions are as follows: 75 mm (3 in) to 400 mm (16 in) internal diameter, 10 mm (0.4 in) or more wall thickness, with the length equal to or greater than the diameter. The grooves are typically rectangular in cross-section and 2 mm (0.08 in) or more in depth.

(d) Motor stators: Specially designed or prepared ring-shaped stators for high speed multiphase AC hysteresis (or reluctance) motors for synchronous operation within a vacuum in the frequency range of 600-2000 Hz and a power range of 50-1000 VA. The stators consist of multi-phase windings on a laminated low loss iron core comprised of thin layers typically 2.0 mm (0.08 in) thick or less.

(e) Centrifuge housing/recipients: Components specially designed or prepared to contain the rotor tube assembly of a gas centrifuge. The housing consists of a rigid cylinder of wall thickness up to 30 mm (1.2 in) with precision machined ends to locate the bearings and with one or more flanges for mounting. The machined ends are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the cylinder's longitudinal axis to within 0.05 degrees or less. The housing may also be a honeycomb type structure to accommodate several rotor tubes. The housings are made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6.

(f) Scoops: Specially designed or prepared tubes of up to 12 mm (0.5 in) internal diameter for the extraction of UF6 gas from within the rotor tube by a Pitot tube action (that is, with an aperture facing into the circumferential gas flow within the rotor tube, for example by bending the end of a radially disposed tube) and capable of being fixed to the central gas extraction system. The tubes are made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6.

5.2. Specially designed or prepared auxiliary systems, equipment and components for gas centrifuge enrichment plants

Introductory Note: The auxiliary systems, equipment and components for a gas centrifuge enrichment plant are the systems of plant needed to feed UF6 to the centrifuges, to link the individual centrifuges to each other to form cascades (or stages) to allow for progressively higher enrichments and to extract the “product” and “tails” UF6 from the centrifuges, together with the equipment required to drive the centrifuges or to control the plant. Normally UF6 is evaporated from the solid using heated autoclaves and is distributed in gaseous form to the centrifuges by way of cascade header pipework. The “product” and “tails” UF6 gaseous streams flowing from the centrifuges are also passed by way of cascade header pipework to cold traps (operating at about 203 K (−70 °C)) where they are condensed prior to onward transfer into suitable containers for transportation or storage. Because an enrichment plant consists of many thousands of centrifuges arranged in cascades there are many kilometers of cascade header pipework, incorporating thousands of welds with a substantial amount of repetition of layout. The equipment, components and piping systems are fabricated to very high vacuum and cleanliness standards.

5.2.1. Feed systems/product and tails withdrawal systems

Specially designed or prepared process systems including: Feed autoclaves (or stations), used for passing UF6 to the centrifuge cascades at up to 100 kPa (15 psi) and at a rate of 1 kg/h or more; desublimers (or cold traps) used to remove UF6 from the cascades at up to 3 kPa (0.5 psi) pressure. The desublimers are capable of being chilled to 203 K (−70 °C) and heated to 343 K (70 °C); “Product” and “Tails” stations used for trapping UF6 into containers. This plant, equipment and pipework is wholly made of or lined with UF6-resistant materials (see Explanatory Note to section 5.2 of this Supplement) and is fabricated to very high vacuum and cleanliness standards.

5.2.2. Machine header piping systems

Specially designed or prepared piping systems and header systems for handling UF6 within the centrifuge cascades. The piping network is normally of the “triple” header system with each centrifuge connected to each of the headers. There is thus a substantial amount of repetition in its form. It is wholly made of UF6-resistant materials (see Explanatory Note to section 5.2 of this supplement) and is fabricated to very high vacuum and cleanliness standards.

5.2.3. UF6 mass spectrometers/ion sources

Specially designed or prepared magnetic or quadrupole mass spectrometers capable of taking “on-line” samples of feed, product or tails, from UF6 gas streams and having all of the following characteristics:

(a) Unit resolution for atomic mass unit greater than 320;

(b) Ion sources constructed of or lined with nichrome or monel or nickel plated;

(c) Electron bombardment ionization sources;

(d) Having a collector system suitable for isotopic analysis.

5.2.4. Frequency changers

Frequency changers (also known as converters or invertors) specially designed or prepared to supply motor stators (as defined under section 5.1.2(d) of this supplement), or parts, components and sub-assemblies of such frequency changers having all of the following characteristics:

(a) A multiphase output of 600 to 2000 Hz;

(b) High stability (with frequency control better than 0.1%);

(c) Low harmonic distortion (less than 2%); and

(d) An efficiency of greater than 80%.

Explanatory Note: The items listed in this section 5.2 either come into direct contact with the UF6 process gas or directly control the centrifuges and the passage of the gas from centrifuge to centrifuge and cascade to cascade. Materials resistant to corrosion by UF6 include stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum alloys, nickel or alloys containing 60% or more nickel.

5.3. Specially designed or prepared assemblies and components for use in gaseous diffusion enrichment

Introductory Note: In the gaseous diffusion method of uranium isotope separation, the main technological assembly is a special porous gaseous diffusion barrier, heat exchanger for cooling the gas (which is heated by the process of compression), seal valves and control valves, and pipelines. Inasmuch as gaseous diffusion technology uses uranium hexafluoride (UF6), all equipment, pipeline and instrumentation surfaces (that come in contact with the gas) must be made of materials that remain stable in contact with UF6. A gaseous diffusion facility requires a number of these assemblies, so that quantities can provide an important indication of end use.

5.3.1. Gaseous diffusion barriers

(a) Specially designed or prepared thin, porous filters, with a pore size of 100-1,000 Å (angstroms), a thickness of 5 mm (0.2 in) or less, and for tubular forms, a diameter of 25 mm (1 in) or less, made of metallic, polymer or ceramic materials resistant to corrosion by UF6, and

(b) Specially prepared compounds or powders for the manufacture of such filters. Such compounds and powders include nickel or alloys containing 60 percent or more nickel, aluminum oxide, or UF6-resistant fully fluorinated hydrocarbon polymers having a purity of 99.9 percent or more, a particle size less than 10 microns, and a high degree of particle size uniformity, which are specially prepared for the manufacture of gaseous diffusion barriers.

5.3.2. Diffuser housings

Specially designed or prepared hermetically sealed cylindrical vessels greater than 300 mm (12 in) in diameter and greater than 900 mm (35 in) in length, or rectangular vessels of comparable dimensions, which have an inlet connection and two outlet connections all of which are greater than 50 mm (2 in) in diameter, for containing the gaseous diffusion barrier, made of or lined with UF6-resistant materials and designed for horizontal or vertical installation.

5.3.3. Compressors and gas blowers

Specially designed or prepared axial, centrifugal, or positive displacement compressors, or gas blowers with a suction volume capacity of 1 m3/min or more of UF6, and with a discharge pressure of up to several hundred kPa (100 psi), designed for long-term operation in the UF6 environment with or without an electrical motor of appropriate power, as well as separate assemblies of such compressors and gas blowers. These compressors and gas blowers have a pressure ratio between 2:1 and 6:1 and are made of, or lined with, materials resistant to UF6.

5.3.4. Rotary shaft seals

Specially designed or prepared vacuum seals, with seal feed and seal exhaust connections, for sealing the shaft connecting the compressor or the gas blower rotor with the driver motor so as to ensure a reliable seal against in-leaking of air into the inner chamber of the compressor or gas blower which is filled with UF6. Such seals are normally designed for a buffer gas in-leakage rate of less than 1000 cm3/min (60 in3/min).

5.3.5. Heat exchangers for cooling UF6

Specially designed or prepared heat exchangers made of or lined with UF6-resistant materials (except stainless steel) or with copper or any combination of those metals, and intended for a leakage pressure change rate of less than 10 Pa (0.0015 psi) per hour under a pressure difference of 100 kPa (15 psi).

5.4. Specially designed or prepared auxiliary systems, equipment and components for use in gaseous diffusion enrichment

Introductory Note: The auxiliary systems, equipment and components for gaseous diffusion enrichment plants are the systems of plant needed to feed UF6 to the gaseous diffusion assembly, to link the individual assemblies to each other to form cascades (or stages) to allow for progressively higher enrichments and to extract the “product” and “tails” UF6 from the diffusion cascades. Because of the high inertial properties of diffusion cascades, any interruption in their operation, and especially their shut-down, leads to serious consequences. Therefore, a strict and constant maintenance of vacuum in all technological systems, automatic protection from accidents, and precise automated regulation of the gas flow is of importance in a gaseous diffusion plant. All this leads to a need to equip the plant with a large number of special measuring, regulating and controlling systems. Normally UF6 is evaporated from cylinders placed within autoclaves and is distributed in gaseous form to the entry point by way of cascade header pipework. The “product” and “tails” UF6 gaseous streams flowing from exit points are passed by way of cascade header pipework to either cold traps or to compression stations where the UF6 gas is liquefied prior to onward transfer into suitable containers for transportation or storage. Because a gaseous diffusion enrichment plant consists of a large number of gaseous diffusion assemblies arranged in cascades, there are many kilometers of cascade header pipework, incorporating thousands of welds with substantial amounts of repetition of layout. The equipment, components and piping systems are fabricated to very high vacuum and cleanliness standards.

5.4.1. Feed systems/product and tails withdrawal systems

Specially designed or prepared process systems, capable of operating at pressures of 300 kPa (45 psi) or less, including:

(a) Feed autoclaves (or systems), used for passing UF6 to the gaseous diffusion cascades;

(b) Desublimers (or cold traps) used to remove UF6 from diffusion cascades;

(c) Liquefaction stations where UF6 gas from the cascade is compressed and cooled to form liquid UF6;

(d) “Product” or “tails” stations used for transferring UF6 into containers.

5.4.2. Header piping systems

Specially designed or prepared piping systems and header systems for handling UF6 within the gaseous diffusion cascades. This piping network is normally of the “double” header system with each cell connected to each of the headers.

5.4.3. Vacuum systems

(a) Specially designed or prepared large vacuum manifolds, vacuum headers and vacuum pumps having a suction capacity of 5 m3/min (175 ft3/min) or more.

(b) Vacuum pumps specially designed for service in UF6-bearing atmospheres made of, or lined with, aluminum, nickel, or alloys bearing more than 60% nickel. These pumps may be either rotary or positive, may have displacement and fluorocarbon seals, and may have special working fluids present.

5.4.4. Special shut-off and control valves

Specially designed or prepared manual or automated shut-off and control bellows valves made of UF6-resistant materials with a diameter of 40 to 1500 mm (1.5 to 59 in) for installation in main and auxiliary systems of gaseous diffusion enrichment plants.

5.4.5. UF6 mass spectrometers/ion sources

Specially designed or prepared magnetic or quadrupole mass spectrometers capable of taking “on-line” samples of feed, product or tails, from UF6 gas streams and having all of the following characteristics:

(a) Unit resolution for atomic mass unit greater than 320;

(b) Ion sources constructed of or lined with nichrome or monel or nickel plated;

(c) Electron bombardment ionization sources;

(d) Collector system suitable for isotopic analysis.

Explanatory Note: The items listed in this section 5.4 either come into direct contact with the UF6 process gas or directly control the flow within the cascade. All surfaces which come into contact with the process gas are wholly made of, or lined with, UF6-resistant materials. For the purposes of the sections in this supplement relating to gaseous diffusion items, the materials resistant to corrosion by UF6 include stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum alloys, aluminum oxide, nickel or alloys containing 60% or more nickel and UF6-resistant fully fluorinated hydrocarbon polymers.

5.5. Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for use in aerodynamic enrichment plants

Introductory Note: In aerodynamic enrichment processes, a mixture of gaseous UF6 and light gas (hydrogen or helium) is compressed and then passed through separating elements wherein isotopic separation is accomplished by the generation of high centrifugal forces over a curved-wall geometry. Two processes of this type have been successfully developed: The separation nozzle process and the vortex tube process. For both processes the main components of a separation stage include cylindrical vessels housing the special separation elements (nozzles or vortex tubes), gas compressors and heat exchangers to remove the heat of compression. An aerodynamic plant requires a number of these stages, so that quantities can provide an important indication of end use. Since aerodynamic processes use UF6, all equipment, pipeline and instrumentation surfaces (that come in contact with the gas) must be made of materials that remain stable in contact with UF6.

Explanatory Note: The items listed in section 5.5 of this Supplement either come into direct contact with the UF6 process gas or directly control the flow within the cascade. All surfaces which come into contact with the process gas are wholly made of or protected by UF6-resistant materials. For the purposes of the provisions of section 5.5 of this supplement that relate to aerodynamic enrichment items, the materials resistant to corrosion by UF6 include copper, stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum alloys, nickel or alloys containing 60% or more nickel and UF6-resistant fully fluorinated hydrocarbon polymers.

5.5.1. Separation nozzles

Specially designed or prepared separation nozzles and assemblies thereof. The separation nozzles consist of slit-shaped, curved channels having a radius of curvature less than 1 mm (typically 0.1 to 0.05 mm), resistant to corrosion by UF6 and having a knife-edge within the nozzle that separates the gas flowing through the nozzle into two fractions.

5.5.2. Vortex tubes

Specially designed or prepared vortex tubes and assemblies thereof. The vortex tubes are cylindrical or tapered, made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6, having a diameter of between 0.5 cm and 4 cm, a length to diameter ratio of 20:1 or less and with one or more tangential inlets. The tubes may be equipped with nozzle-type appendages at either or both ends.

Explanatory Note: The feed gas enters the vortex tube tangentially at one end or through swirl vanes or at numerous tangential positions along the periphery of the tube.

5.5.3. Compressors and gas blowers

Specially designed or prepared axial, centrifugal or positive displacement compressors or gas blowers made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6 and with a suction volume capacity of 2 m3/min or more of UF6/carrier gas (hydrogen or helium) mixture.

Explanatory Note: These compressors and gas blowers typically have a pressure ratio between 1.2:1 and 6:1.

5.5.4. Rotary shaft seals

Specially designed or prepared rotary shaft seals, with seal feed and seal exhaust connections, for sealing the shaft connecting the compressor rotor or the gas blower rotor with the driver motor so as to ensure a reliable seal against out-leakage of process gas or in-leakage of air or seal gas into the inner chamber of the compressor or gas blower which is filled with a UF6/carrier gas mixture.

5.5.5. Heat exchangers for gas cooling

Specially designed or prepared heat exchangers made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6.

5.5.6. Separation element housings

Specially designed or prepared separation element housings, made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6, for containing vortex tubes or separation nozzles.

Explanatory Note: These housings may be cylindrical vessels greater than 300 mm in diameter and greater than 900 mm in length, or may be rectangular vessels of comparable dimensions, and may be designed for horizontal or vertical installation.

5.5.7. Feed systems/product and tails withdrawal systems

Specially designed or prepared process systems or equipment for enrichment plants made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6, including:

(a) Feed autoclaves, ovens, or systems used for passing UF6 to the enrichment process;

(b) Desublimers (or cold traps) used to remove UF6 from the enrichment process for subsequent transfer upon heating;

(c) Solidification or liquefaction stations used to remove UF6 from the enrichment process by compressing and converting UF6 to a liquid or solid form;

(d) “Product” or “tails” stations used for transferring UF6 into containers.

5.5.8. Header piping systems

Specially designed or prepared header piping systems, made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6, for handling UF6 within the aerodynamic cascades. This piping network is normally of the “double” header design with each stage or group of stages connected to each of the headers.

5.5.9. Vacuum systems and pumps

(a) Specially designed or prepared vacuum systems having a suction capacity of 5 m3/min or more, consisting of vacuum manifolds, vacuum headers and vacuum pumps, and designed for service in UF6-bearing atmospheres;

(b) Vacuum pumps specially designed or prepared for service in UF6-bearing atmospheres and made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6. These pumps may use fluorocarbon seals and special working fluids.

5.5.10. Special shut-off and control valves

Specially designed or prepared manual or automated shut-off and control bellows valves made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6 with a diameter of 40 to 1500 mm for installation in main and auxiliary systems of aerodynamic enrichment plants.

5.5.11. UF6 mass spectrometers/ion sources

Specially designed or prepared magnetic or quadrupole mass spectrometers capable of taking “on-line” samples of feed, “product” or “tails,” from UF6 gas streams and having all of the following characteristics:

(a) Unit resolution for mass greater than 320;

(b) Ion sources constructed of or lined with nichrome or monel or nickel plated;

(c) Electron bombardment ionization sources;

(d) Collector system suitable for isotopic analysis.

5.5.12. UF6/carrier gas separation systems

Specially designed or prepared process systems for separating UF6 from carrier gas (hydrogen or helium).

Explanatory Note: These systems are designed to reduce the UF6 content in the carrier gas to 1 ppm or less and may incorporate equipment such as:

(a) Cryogenic heat exchangers and cryoseparators capable of temperatures of −120 °C or less, or

(b) Cryogenic refrigeration units capable of temperatures of −120 °C or less, or

(c) Separation nozzle or vortex tube units for the separation of UF6 from carrier gas, or

(d) UF6 cold traps capable of temperatures of −20 °C or less.

5.6. Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for use in chemical exchange or ion exchange enrichment plants

Introductory Note: The slight difference in mass between the isotopes of uranium causes small changes in chemical reaction equilibria that can be used as a basis for separation of the isotopes. Two processes have been successfully developed: Liquid-liquid chemical exchange and solid-liquid ion exchange. In the liquid-liquid chemical exchange process, immiscible liquid phases (aqueous and organic) are countercurrently contacted to give the cascading effect of thousands of separation stages. The aqueous phase consists of uranium chloride in hydrochloric acid solution; the organic phase consists of an extractant containing uranium chloride in an organic solvent. The contactors employed in the separation cascade can be liquid-liquid exchange columns (such as pulsed columns with sieve plates) or liquid centrifugal contactors. Chemical conversions (oxidation and reduction) are required at both ends of the separation cascade in order to provide for the reflux requirements at each end. A major design concern is to avoid contamination of the process streams with certain metal ions. Plastic, plastic-lined (including use of fluorocarbon polymers) and/or glass-lined columns and piping are therefore used. In the solid-liquid ion-exchange process, enrichment is accomplished by uranium adsorption/desorption on a special, very fast-acting, ion-exchange resin or adsorbent. A solution of uranium in hydrochloric acid and other chemical agents is passed through cylindrical enrichment columns containing packed beds of the adsorbent. For a continuous process, a reflux system is necessary to release the uranium from the adsorbent back into the liquid flow so that “product” and “tails” can be collected. This is accomplished with the use of suitable reduction/oxidation chemical agents that are fully regenerated in separate external circuits and that may be partially regenerated within the isotopic separation columns themselves. The presence of hot concentrated hydrochloric acid solutions in the process requires that the equipment be made of or protected by special corrosion-resistant materials.

5.6.1. Liquid-liquid exchange columns (Chemical exchange)

Countercurrent liquid-liquid exchange columns having mechanical power input (i.e., pulsed columns with sieve plates, reciprocating plate columns, and columns with internal turbine mixers), specially designed or prepared for uranium enrichment using the chemical exchange process. For corrosion resistance to concentrated hydrochloric acid solutions, these columns and their internals are made of or protected by suitable plastic materials (such as fluorocarbon polymers) or glass. The stage residence time of the columns is designed to be short (30 seconds or less).

5.6.2. Liquid-liquid centrifugal contactors (Chemical exchange)

Liquid-liquid centrifugal contactors specially designed or prepared for uranium enrichment using the chemical exchange process. Such contactors use rotation to achieve dispersion of the organic and aqueous streams and then centrifugal force to separate the phases. For corrosion resistance to concentrated hydrochloric acid solutions, the contactors are made of or are lined with suitable plastic materials (such as fluorocarbon polymers) or are lined with glass. The stage residence time of the centrifugal contactors is designed to be short (30 seconds or less).

5.6.3. Uranium reduction systems and equipment (Chemical exchange)

(a) Specially designed or prepared electrochemical reduction cells to reduce uranium from one valence state to another for uranium enrichment using the chemical exchange process. The cell materials in contact with process solutions must be corrosion resistant to concentrated hydrochloric acid solutions.

Explanatory Note: The cell cathodic compartment must be designed to prevent re-oxidation of uranium to its higher valence state. To keep the uranium in the cathodic compartment, the cell may have an impervious diaphragm membrane constructed of special cation exchange material. The cathode consists of a suitable solid conductor such as graphite.

(b) Specially designed or prepared systems at the product end of the cascade for taking the U4+ out of the organic stream, adjusting the acid concentration and feeding to the electrochemical reduction cells.

Explanatory Note: These systems consist of solvent extraction equipment for stripping the U4+ from the organic stream into an aqueous solution, evaporation and/or other equipment to accomplish solution pH adjustment and control, and pumps or other transfer devices for feeding to the electrochemical reduction cells. A major design concern is to avoid contamination of the aqueous stream with certain metal ions. Consequently, for those parts in contact with the process stream, the system is constructed of equipment made of or protected by suitable materials (such as glass, fluorocarbon polymers, polyphenyl sulfate, polyether sulfone, and resin-impregnated graphite).

5.6.4. Feed preparation systems (Chemical exchange)

Specially designed or prepared systems for producing high-purity uranium chloride feed solutions for chemical exchange uranium isotope separation plants.

Explanatory Note: These systems consist of dissolution, solvent extraction and/or ion exchange equipment for purification and electrolytic cells for reducing the uranium U6+ or U4+ to U3+. These systems produce uranium chloride solutions having only a few parts per million of metallic impurities such as chromium, iron, vanadium, molybdenum and other bivalent or higher multi-valent cations. Materials of construction for portions of the system processing high-purity U3+ include glass, fluorocarbon polymers, polyphenyl sulfate or polyether sulfone plastic-lined and resin-impregnated graphite.

5.6.5. Uranium oxidation systems (Chemical exchange)

Specially designed or prepared systems for oxidation of U3+ to U4+ for return to the uranium isotope separation cascade in the chemical exchange enrichment process.

Explanatory Note: These systems may incorporate equipment such as:

(a) Equipment for contacting chlorine and oxygen with the aqueous effluent from the isotope separation equipment and extracting the resultant U4+ into the stripped organic stream returning from the product end of the cascade;

(b) Equipment that separates water from hydrochloric acid so that the water and the concentrated hydrochloric acid may be reintroduced to the process at the proper locations.

5.6.6. Fast-reacting ion exchange resins/adsorbents (ion exchange)

Fast-reacting ion-exchange resins or adsorbents specially designed or prepared for uranium enrichment using the ion exchange process, including porous macroreticular resins, and/or pellicular structures in which the active chemical exchange groups are limited to a coating on the surface of an inactive porous support structure, and other composite structures in any suitable form including particles or fibers. These ion exchange resins/adsorbents have diameters of 0.2 mm or less and must be chemically resistant to concentrated hydrochloric acid solutions as well as physically strong enough so as not to degrade in the exchange columns. The resins/adsorbents are specially designed to achieve very fast uranium isotope exchange kinetics (exchange rate half-time of less than 10 seconds) and are capable of operating at a temperature in the range of 100 °C to 200 °C.

5.6.7. Ion exchange columns (Ion exchange)

Cylindrical columns greater than 1,000 mm in diameter for containing and supporting packed beds of ion exchange resin/adsorbent, specially designed or prepared for uranium enrichment using the ion exchange process. These columns are made of or protected by materials (such as titanium or fluorocarbon plastics) resistant to corrosion by concentrated hydrochloric acid solutions and are capable of operating at a temperature in the range of 100 °C to 200 °C and pressures above 0.7 MPa (102 psia).

5.6.8. Ion exchange reflux systems (Ion exchange)

(a) Specially designed or prepared chemical or electrochemical reduction systems for regeneration of the chemical reducing agent(s) used in ion exchange uranium enrichment cascades.

(b) Specially designed or prepared chemical or electrochemical oxidation systems for regeneration of the chemical oxidizing agent(s) used in ion exchange uranium enrichment cascades.

Explanatory Note: The ion exchange enrichment process may use, for example, trivalent titanium (Ti3+) as a reducing cation in which case the reduction system would regenerate Ti3+ by reducing Ti4+. The process may use, for example, trivalent iron (Fe3+) as an oxidant in which case the oxidation system would regenerate Fe3+ by oxidizing Fe2+.

5.7. Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for use in laser-based enrichment plants

Introductory Note: Present systems for enrichment processes using lasers fall into two categories: Those in which the process medium is atomic uranium vapor and those in which the process medium is the vapor of a uranium compound. Common nomenclature for such processes include: First category—atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS or SILVA); second category—molecular laser isotope separation (MLIS or MOLIS) and chemical reaction by isotope selective laser activation (CRISLA). The systems, equipment and components for laser enrichment plants embrace:

(a) Devices to feed uranium-metal vapor (for selective photo-ionization) or devices to feed the vapor of a uranium compound (for photo-dissociation or chemical activation);

(b) Devices to collect enriched and depleted uranium metal as “product” and “tails” in the first category, and devices to collect dissociated or reacted compounds as “product” and unaffected material as “tails” in the second category;

(c) Process laser systems to selectively excite the uranium-235 species; and

(d) Feed preparation and product conversion equipment. The complexity of the spectroscopy of uranium atoms and compounds may require incorporation of any of a number of available laser technologies.

Explanatory Note: Many of the items listed in section 5.7 of this supplement come into direct contact with uranium metal vapor or liquid or with process gas consisting of UF6 or a mixture of UF6 and other gases. All surfaces that come into contact with the uranium or UF6 are wholly made of or protected by corrosion-resistant materials. For the purposes of the provisions in section 5.7 of this supplement that relate to laser-based enrichment items, the materials resistant to corrosion by the vapor or liquid of uranium metal or uranium alloys include yttria-coated graphite and tantalum; and the materials resistant to corrosion by UF6 include copper, stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum alloys, nickel or alloys containing 60% or more nickel and UF6-resistant fully fluorinated hydrocarbon polymers.

5.7.1. Uranium vaporization systems (AVLIS)

Specially designed or prepared uranium vaporization systems which contain high-power strip or scanning electron beam guns with a delivered power on the target of more than 2.5 kW/cm.

5.7.2. Liquid uranium metal handling systems (AVLIS)

Specially designed or prepared liquid metal handling systems for molten uranium or uranium alloys, consisting of crucibles and cooling equipment for the crucibles.

Explanatory Note: The crucibles and other parts of this system that come into contact with molten uranium or uranium alloys are made of or protected by materials of suitable corrosion and heat resistance. Suitable materials include tantalum, yttria-coated graphite, graphite coated with other rare earth oxides or mixtures thereof.

5.7.3. Uranium metal ‘product’ and ‘tails’ collector assemblies (AVLIS)

Specially designed or prepared “product” and “tails” collector assemblies for uranium metal in liquid or solid form.

Explanatory Note: Components for these assemblies are made of or protected by materials resistant to the heat and corrosion of uranium metal vapor or liquid (such as yttria-coated graphite or tantalum) and may include pipes, valves, fittings, “gutters,” feed-throughs, heat exchangers and collector plates for magnetic, electrostatic or other separation methods.

5.7.4. Separator module housings (AVLIS)

Specially designed or prepared cylindrical or rectangular vessels for containing the uranium metal vapor source, the electron beam gun, and the “product” and “tails” collectors.

Explanatory Note: These housings have multiplicity of ports for electrical and water feed-throughs, laser beam windows, vacuum pump connections and instrumentation diagnostics and monitoring. They have provisions for opening and closure to allow refurbishment of internal components.

5.7.5. Supersonic expansion nozzles (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared supersonic expansion nozzles for cooling mixtures of UF6 and carrier gas to 150 K or less and which are corrosion resistant to UF6.

5.7.6. Uranium pentafluoride product collectors (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared uranium pentafluoride (UF5) solid product collectors consisting of filter, impact, or cyclone-type collectors, or combinations thereof, and which are corrosion resistant to the UF5/UF6 environment.

5.7.7. UF6/carrier gas compressors (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared compressors for UF6/carrier gas mixtures, designed for long term operation in a UF6 environment. The components of these compressors that come into contact with process gas are made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6.

5.7.8. Rotary shaft seals (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared rotary shaft seals, with seal feed and seal exhaust connections, for sealing the shaft connecting the compressor rotor with the driver motor so as to ensure a reliable seal against out-leakage of process gas or in-leakage of air or seal gas into the inner chamber of the compressor which is filled with a UF6/carrier gas mixture.

5.7.9. Fluorination systems (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared systems for fluorinating UF5 (solid) to UF6 (gas).

Explanatory Note: These systems are designed to fluorinate the collected UF5 powder to UF6 for subsequent collection in product containers or for transfer as feed to MLIS units for additional enrichment. In one approach, the fluorination reaction may be accomplished within the isotope separation system to react and recover directly off the “product” collectors. In another approach, the UF5 powder may be removed/transferred from the “product” collectors into a suitable reaction vessel (e.g., fluidized-bed reactor, screw reactor or flame tower) for fluorination. In both approaches, equipment for storage and transfer of fluorine (or other suitable fluorinating agents) and for collection and transfer of UF6 are used.

5.7.10. UF6 mass spectrometers/ion sources (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared magnetic or quadrupole mass spectrometers capable of taking “on-line” samples of feed, “product,” or “tails” from UF6 gas streams and having all of the following characteristics:

(a) Unit resolution for mass greater than 320;

(b) Ion sources constructed of or lined with nichrome or monel or nickel plated;

(c) Electron bombardment ionization sources; and

(d) Collector system suitable for isotopic analysis.

5.7.11. Feed systems/product and tails withdrawal systems (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared process systems or equipment for enrichment plants made of or protected by materials resistant to corrosion by UF6, including:

(a) Feed autoclaves, ovens, or systems used for passing UF6 to the enrichment process;

(b) Desublimers (or cold traps) used to remove UF6 from the enrichment process for subsequent transfer upon heating;

(c) Solidification or liquefaction stations used to remove UF6 from the enrichment process by compressing and converting UF6 to a liquid or solid form;

(d) “Product” or “tails” stations used for transferring UF6 into containers.

5.7.12. UF6/carrier gas separation systems (MLIS)

Specially designed or prepared process systems for separating UF6 from carrier gas. The carrier gas may be nitrogen, argon, or other gas.

Explanatory Note: These systems may incorporate equipment such as:

(a) Cryogenic heat exchangers or cryoseparators capable of temperatures of −120 °C or less, or

(b) Cryogenic refrigeration units capable of temperatures of −120 °C or less, or

(c) UF6 cold traps capable of temperatures of −20 °C or less.

5.7.13. Laser systems (AVLIS, MLIS and CRISLA)

Lasers or laser systems specially designed or prepared for the separation of uranium isotopes.

Explanatory Note: The laser system for the AVLIS process usually consists of two lasers: A copper vapor laser and a dye laser. The laser system for MLIS usually consists of a CO2 or excimer laser and a multi-pass optical cell with revolving mirrors at both ends. Lasers or laser systems for both processes require a spectrum frequency stabilizer for operation over extended periods of time.

5.8. Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for use in plasma separation enrichment plants

Introductory Note: In the plasma separation process, a plasma of uranium ions passes through an electric field tuned to the U-235 ion resonance frequency so that they preferentially absorb energy and increase the diameter of their corkscrew-like orbits. Ions with a large-diameter path are trapped to produce a product enriched in U-235. The plasma, which is made by ionizing uranium vapor, is contained in a vacuum chamber with a high-strength magnetic field produced by a superconducting magnet. The main technological systems of the process include the uranium plasma generation system, the separator module with superconducting magnet and metal removal systems for the collection of “product” and “tails.”

5.8.1. Microwave power sources and antennae

Specially designed or prepared microwave power sources and antennae for producing or accelerating ions and having the following characteristics: Greater than 30 GHz frequency and greater than 50 kW mean power output for ion production.

5.8.2. Ion excitation coils

Specially designed or prepared radio frequency ion excitation coils for frequencies of more than 100 kHz and capable of handling more than 40 kW mean power.

5.8.3. Uranium plasma generation systems

Specially designed or prepared systems for the generation of uranium plasma, which may contain high-power strip or scanning electron beam guns with a delivered power on the target of more than 2.5 kW/cm.

5.8.4. Liquid uranium metal handling systems

Specially designed or prepared liquid metal handling systems for molten uranium or uranium alloys, consisting of crucibles and cooling equipment for the crucibles, power supply system, the ion source high-voltage power supply system, the vacuum system, and extensive chemical handling systems for recovery of product and cleaning/recycling of components.

5.9.1. Electromagnetic isotope separators

Electromagnetic isotope separators specially designed or prepared for the separation of uranium isotopes, and equipment and components therefor, including:

(a) Ion sources: Specially designed or prepared single or multiple uranium ion sources consisting of a vapor source, ionizer, and beam accelerator, constructed of suitable materials such as graphite, stainless steel, or copper, and capable of providing a total ion beam current of 50 mA or greater;

(b) Ion collectors: Collector plates consisting of two or more slits and pockets specially designed or prepared for collection of enriched and depleted uranium ion beams and constructed of suitable materials such as graphite or stainless steel;

(c) Vacuum housings: Specially designed or prepared vacuum housings for uranium electromagnetic separators, constructed of suitable non-magnetic materials such as stainless steel and designed for operation at pressures of 0.1 Pa or lower;

Explanatory Note: The housings are specially designed to contain the ion sources, collector plates and water-cooled liners and have provision for diffusion pump connections and opening and closure for removal and reinstallation of these components.

(d) Magnet pole pieces: Specially designed or prepared magnet pole pieces having a diameter greater than 2 m used to maintain a constant magnetic field within an electromagnetic isotope separator and to transfer the magnetic field between adjoining separators.

5.9.2. High voltage power supplies

Specially designed or prepared high-voltage power supplies for ion sources, having all of the following characteristics: capable of continuous operation, output voltage of 20,000 V or greater, output current of 1 A or greater, and voltage regulation of better than 0.01% over a time period of 8 hours.

5.9.3. Magnet power supplies

Specially designed or prepared high-power, direct current magnet power supplies having all of the following characteristics: capable of continuously producing a current output of 500 A or greater at a voltage of 100 V or greater and with a current or voltage regulation better than 0.01% over a period of 8 hours.

6. Plants for the production of heavy water, deuterium and deuterium compounds and equipment specially designed or prepared therefor

Introductory Note: Heavy water can be produced by a variety of processes. However, the two processes that have proven to be commercially viable are the water-hydrogen sulfide exchange process (GS process) and the ammonia-hydrogen exchange process. The GS process is based upon the exchange of hydrogen and deuterium between water and hydrogen sulfide within a series of towers which are operated with the top section cold and the bottom section hot. Water flows down the towers while the hydrogen sulfide gas circulates from the bottom to the top of the towers. A series of perforated trays are used to promote mixing between the gas and the water. Deuterium migrates to the water at low temperatures and to the hydrogen sulfide at high temperatures. Gas or water, enriched in deuterium, is removed from the first stage towers at the junction of the hot and cold sections and the process is repeated in subsequent stage towers. The product of the last stage, water enriched up to 30% in deuterium, is sent to a distillation unit to produce reactor grade heavy water, i.e., 99.75% deuterium oxide. The ammonia-hydrogen exchange process can extract deuterium from synthesis gas through contact with liquid ammonia in the presence of a catalyst. The synthesis gas is fed into exchange towers and to an ammonia converter. Inside the towers the gas flows from the bottom to the top while the liquid ammonia flows from the top to the bottom. The deuterium is stripped from the hydrogen in the synthesis gas and concentrated in the ammonia. The ammonia then flows into an ammonia cracker at the bottom of the tower while the gas flows into an ammonia converter at the top. Further enrichment takes place in subsequent stages and reactor grade heavy water is produced through final distillation. The synthesis gas feed can be provided by an ammonia plant that, in turn, can be constructed in association with a heavy water ammonia-hydrogen exchange plant. The ammonia-hydrogen exchange process can also use ordinary water as a feed source of deuterium.

Many of the key equipment items for heavy water production plants using GS or the ammonia-hydrogen exchange processes are common to several segments of the chemical and petroleum industries. This is particularly so for small plants using the GS process. However, few of the items are available “off-the-shelf.” The GS and ammonia-hydrogen processes require the handling of large quantities of flammable, corrosive and toxic fluids at elevated pressures. Accordingly, in establishing the design and operating standards for plants and equipment using these processes, careful attention to the materials selection and specifications is required to ensure long service life with high safety and reliability factors. The choice of scale is primarily a function of economics and need. Thus, most of the equipment items would be prepared according to the requirements of the customer. Finally, it should be noted that, in both the GS and the ammonia-hydrogen exchange processes, items of equipment which individually are not specially designed or prepared for heavy water production can be assembled into systems which are specially designed or prepared for producing heavy water. The catalyst production system used in the ammonia-hydrogen exchange process and water distillation systems used for the final concentration of heavy water to reactor-grade in either process are examples of such systems. The items of equipment which are specially designed or prepared for the production of heavy water utilizing either the water-hydrogen sulfide exchange process or the ammonia-hydrogen exchange process include the following:

6.1. Water-hydrogen sulfide exchange towers

Exchange towers fabricated from fine carbon steel (such as ASTM A516) with diameters of 6 m (20 ft) to 9 m (30 ft), capable of operating at pressures greater than or equal to 2 MPa (300 psi) and with a corrosion allowance of 6 mm or greater, specially designed or prepared for heavy water production utilizing the water-hydrogen sulfide exchange process.

6.2. Blowers and compressors

Single stage, low head (i.e., 0.2 MPa or 30 psi) centrifugal blowers or compressors for hydrogen-sulfide gas circulation (i.e., gas containing more than 70% H2S) specially designed or prepared for heavy water production utilizing the water-hydrogen sulfide exchange process. These blowers or compressors have a throughput capacity greater than or equal to 56 m3/second (120,000 SCFM) while operating at pressures greater than or equal to 1.8 MPa (260 psi) suction and have seals designed for wet H2S service.

6.3. Ammonia-hydrogen exchange towers

Ammonia-hydrogen exchange towers greater than or equal to 35 m (114.3 ft) in height with diameters of 1.5 m (4.9 ft) to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) capable of operating at pressures greater than 15 MPa (2225 psi) specially designed or prepared for heavy water production utilizing the ammonia-hydrogen exchange process. These towers also have at least one flanged axial opening of the same diameter as the cylindrical part through which the tower internals can be inserted or withdrawn.

6.4. Tower internals and stage pumps

Tower internals and stage pumps specially designed or prepared for towers for heavy water production utilizing the ammonia-hydrogen exchange process. Tower internals include specially designed stage contactors which promote intimate gas/liquid contact. Stage pumps include specially designed submersible pumps for circulation of liquid ammonia within a contacting stage internal to the stage towers.

6.5. Ammonia crackers

Ammonia crackers with operating pressures greater than or equal to 3 MPa (450 psi) specially designed or prepared for heavy water production utilizing the ammonia-hydrogen exchange process.

6.6. Infrared absorption analyzers

Infrared absorption analyzers capable of “on-line” hydrogen/deuterium ratio analysis where deuterium concentrations are equal to or greater than 90%.

6.7. Catalytic burners

Catalytic burners for the conversion of enriched deuterium gas into heavy water specially designed or prepared for heavy water production utilizing the ammonia-hydrogen exchange process.

7. Plants for the conversion of uranium and equipment specially designed or prepared therefor

Introductory Note: Uranium conversion plants and systems may perform one or more transformations from one uranium chemical species to another, including: conversion of uranium ore concentrates to UO3, conversion of UO3 to UO2, conversion of uranium oxides to UF4 or UF6, conversion of UF4 to UF6, conversion of UF6 to UF4, conversion of UF4 to uranium metal, and conversion of uranium fluorides to UO2. Many of the key equipment items for uranium conversion plants are common to several segments of the chemical process industry. For example, the types of equipment employed in these processes may include: Furnaces, rotary kilns, fluidized bed reactors, flame tower reactors, liquid centrifuges, distillation columns and liquid-liquid extraction columns. However, few of the items are available “off-the-shelf;” most would be prepared according to the requirements and specifications of the customer. In some instances, special design and construction considerations are required to address the corrosive properties of some of the chemicals handled (HF, F2, ClF3, and uranium fluorides). Finally, it should be noted that, in all of the uranium conversion processes, items of equipment which individually are not specially designed or prepared for uranium conversion can be assembled into systems which are specially designed or prepared for use in uranium conversion.

7.1. Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of uranium ore concentrates to UO3

Explanatory Note: Conversion of uranium ore concentrates to UO3 can be performed by first dissolving the ore in nitric acid and extracting purified uranyl nitrate using a solvent such as tributyl phosphate. Next, the uranyl nitrate is converted to UO3 either by concentration and denitration or by neutralization with gaseous ammonia to produce ammonium diuranate with subsequent filtering, drying, and calcining.

7.2. Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UO3 to UF6

Explanatory Note: Conversion of UO3 to UF6 can be performed directly by fluorination. The process requires a source of fluorine gas or chlorine trifluoride.

7.3. Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UO3 to UO2

Explanatory Note: Conversion of UO3 to UO2 can be performed through reduction of UO3 with cracked ammonia gas or hydrogen.

7.4. Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UO2 to UF4

Explanatory Note: Conversion of UO2 to UF4 can be performed by reacting UO2 with hydrogen fluoride gas (HF) at 300-500 °C.

7.5. Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UF4 to UF6

Explanatory Note: Conversion of UF4 to UF6 is performed by exothermic reaction with fluorine in a tower reactor. UF6 is condensed from the hot effluent gases by passing the effluent stream through a cold trap cooled to −10 °C. The process requires a source of fluorine gas.

7.6. Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UF4 to U metal

Explanatory Note: Conversion of UF4 to U metal is performed by reduction with magnesium (large batches) or calcium (small batches). The reaction is carried out at temperatures above the melting point of uranium (1130 °C).

7.7. Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UF6 to UO2

Explanatory Note: Conversion of UF6 to UO2 can be performed by one of three processes. In the first, UF6 is reduced and hydrolyzed to UO2 using hydrogen and steam. In the second, UF6 is hydrolyzed by solution in water, ammonia is added to precipitate ammonium diuranate, and the diuranate is reduced to UO2 with hydrogen at 820 °C. In the third process, gaseous UF6, CO2, and NH3 are combined in water, precipitating ammonium uranyl carbonate. The ammonium uranyl carbonate is combined with steam and hydrogen at 500-600 °C to yield UO2. UF6 to UO2 conversion is often performed as the first stage of a fuel fabrication plant.

7.8 Specially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UF6 to UF4

Explanatory Note: Conversion of UF6 to UF4 is performed by reduction with hydrogen.

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