Depleted High Enriched Fuel of Research Reactor Shipped Back to its Country of Origin

High enriched uranium fuel used in the 5 MW research reactor at TAEK's Çekmece Nuclear Research and Training Center (ÇNAEM) since 1980, was exchanged with low enriched fuel manufactured in France, where the low enriched uranium was supplied by the USA .

Bilateral negotiations,  initiated by the USA in 1995, and continued in the frame of the project concerning  the high enriched US origin research reactor uranium fuels to be returned to the source country, has been concluded after the "Agreement for Cooperation between the Republic of Turkey and the United States of America Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy" came into force.

A Memorandum of Understanding between US Department of Energy (DoE) and Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) was signed in 2008 and a contract for the whole process was signed on Nov. 6, 2009.

Low enriched fuel elements manufactured in France were transferred to ÇNAEM by air through Atatürk Airport on Nov, 19 2009.

Meanwhile, depleted fuel elements were shipped to the Savannah River Site Nuclear Facility of the US DoE on Dec. 14, 2009, according to the conditions determined by the IAEA standards and national legislation. IAEA supervised the exchange.

Turkish Atomic Energy Authority