Krasnoyarsk-26 / Zheleznogorsk - Mining and Chemical Combine

Krasnoyarsk-26, currently Zheleznogorsk, was established in 1950 to produce plutonium for weapons. The facility’s original name was the Combine 815. At present it is known as the Mining and Chemical Combine.

The Krasnoyarsk-26 industrial production area (a fenced off area on the surface) is about 17 km2. The sanitary-protection area is 131 km2. The plutonium production complex comprises the reactor plant, the radiochemical plant, the reactor coolant preparation plant, the partially completed RT-2 radiochemical plant, and the engineering plant. A distinctive feature of the plutonium production complex in Krasnoyarsk-26 is that the reactor plant, radiochemical plant, laboratories, and storage facilities are located 200-250 m underground, in a multi-level system of underground tunnels inside a mountain, which include water supply and ventilation systems are located in the mountain. To the north-west of the underground complex are underground reprocessing waste injection wells (the Northern test site).

The Krasnoyarsk-26 reactor plant consisted of three graphite reactors (AD, ADE-1, and ADE-2). Two graphite-moderated, light-water-cooled reactors, similar to the U.S. plutonium production reactors at Hanford, WA, were installed more than 200 meters into a mountainside. Both reactors were cooled by water directly from the Yenisey River. The first went into operation on 25 August 1958, and the second in 1961, producing plutonium-239 for nuclear weapons. In 1964, a third reactor went into operation with a closed-loop cooling system, not directly discharging into the river. The AD and ADE-1 reactors, which started in 1958 and 1961, were shut down in 1992. The third reactor generates heat and electricity for the local populations and cannot be shutdown before a replacement source of power becomes available.
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