Siberian Chemical Combine revives tungsten metal production
First item made of tungsten metal was manufactured today at the sublimate plant of the Siberian Chemical Combine. The Combine is part of Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL. The project is part of Rosatom and TVEL’s priority effort to develop general-purpose, non-nuclear operations.
The technology is unique in that the measured density of the manufactured item is equal to the full density of tungsten, which means that the items is pure crystal metal lattice.
“Under the strategic project Breakthrough we had a goal to produce new configurations out of tungsten,” explains chief engineer of the sublimate plant Artem Murlyshev.
Full restoration of the tungsten production plant was completed at the end of 2014.
Tungsten hexafluoride vapor phase reduction technology allows producing most diverse forms. As Artem Murlyshev points out, “This technology can be used to make the core of a nuclear reactor if needed”.
SCC used to produce tungsten items in the past such as large sized tungsten crucibles for growing single crystal leuco sapphires. This type of sapphire is widely used in the aerospace industry, microelectronics, watch production, and cell phone production.
AO TVEL is a joint-stock company established on September 12, 1996 by Presidential Decree and incorporated into state corporation Rosatom. TVEL consists of nuclear fuel production companies, uranium conversion and enrichment companies, producers of gas centrifuges, research and design bureaus. TVEL is the only supplier of nuclear fuel to Russian nuclear power plants. TVEL supplies nuclear fuel to 78 power reactors in 15 countries, research reactors in 9 countries, and nuclear submarine reactors for the Russian defense industry. Every one out of six power reactors in the world runs on TVEL’s fuel.