Refueling Floor - RBMK

In the case of the CANDU and RBMK reactor designs, refueling may be done while the reactor is operating. In the CANDU design, fuel rods are loaded horizontally into the reactor. In the RBMK design, spent fuel rods are removed by a refueling machine and transferred to a spent fuel storage pool. New, fresh fuel rods with uranium dioxide are loaded verticallly by the same refueling machine. The photo below illustrates the typical refueling floor layout in the RBMK design.

The reactor is located under the circular array of blocks located at the far end of the hall. The refueling machine is located in the far left corner. Spent fuel storage would be located behind you from this vantage point.

Photo courtesy of Ignalina / Smolensk NPPs

Copyright 1996-2005.  Joseph Gonyeau, P.E.. The Virtual Nuclear Tourist. All rights reserved. Revised: March 15, 2001.