Construction of the world's most powerful multi-purpose fast neutron research reactor (MBIR) has officially started at the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad, in Russia's Ulyanovsk region. The project is being implemented as part of the federal targeted-development programme called "New-Generation Nuclear Energy Technologies for 2010-2015 and up to 2020". The reactor is scheduled for start-up in 2020. The thermal power of the new sodium-cooled reactor will be 150MWt.
The unique characteristics of the MBIR will enable it to solve a wide range of research tasks in support of the creation of new, competitive and safe nuclear power plants, including fast neutron reactors that would close the nuclear fuel cycle. The reactor will be also used in the production of radioisotopes for various purposes, and to carry out research for medical purposes. It will be open to international researchers.
tmThe siting licence for MBIR was granted in July 2014 since when MBIR's principal construction contractor, Management Company Uralenergostroy, has been proceeding with preparatory work. The construction licence was issued in May 2015 for a period of ten years. MBIR is expected to replace the BOR-60 fast research reactor, built almost half a century ago and successfully operated since then at NIIAR.