10 CFR Appendix O to Part 110, Illustrative List of Fuel Element Fabrication Plant Equipment and Components Under NRC's Export Licensing Authority
Nuclear fuel elements are manufactured from source or special nuclear material. For oxide fuels, the most common type of fuel equipment for pressing pellets, sintering, grinding and grading will be present. Mixed oxide fuels are handled in glove boxes (or equivalent containment) until they are sealed in the cladding. In all cases, the fuel is hermetically sealed inside a suitable cladding which is designed to be the primary envelope encasing the fuel so as to provide suitable performance and safety during reactor operation. Also, in all cases, precise control of processes, procedures and equipment to extremely high standards is necessary in order to ensure predictable and safe fuel performance.
(a) Items that are considered especially designed or prepared for the fabrication of fuel elements include equipment that:
(1) Normally comes in direct contact with, or directly processes or controls, the production flow of nuclear material;
(2) Seals the nuclear material within the cladding;
(3) Checks the integrity of the cladding or the seal;
(4) Checks the finished treatment of the sealed fuel; or
(5) Is used for assembling reactor fuel elements.
(b) This equipment or systems of equipment may include, for example:
(1) Fully automatic pellet inspection stations especially designed or prepared for checking final dimensions and surface defects of fuel pellets;
(2) Automatic welding machines especially designed or prepared for welding end caps onto the fuel pins (or rods);
(3) Automatic test and inspection stations especially designed or prepared for checking the integrity of completed fuel pins (or rods). This item typically includes equipment for:
(i) X-ray examination of pin (or rod) end cap welds;
(ii) Helium leak detection from pressurized pins (or rods); and
(iii) Gamma-ray scanning of the pins (or rods) to check for correct loading of the fuel pellets inside.
(4) Systems especially designed or prepared to manufacture nuclear fuel cladding.
(c) Any other components especially designed or prepared for use in a fuel element fabrication plant or in any of the components described in this appendix.