Russia begins to make equipment for MBIR research reactor

30 November 2016

Russia’s Atomenergomash (AEM), the power engineering division of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, has begun making equipment for the MBIR multi-purpose fast neutron research reactor, AEM said. Work has begun on the forging of thermal protection components, which will be part of the outer protection shell. AEM will also manufacture the reactor internals, pressure vessel and head. Since September 2015, MBIR has been under construction at the site of the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) at Dimitrovgrad in the Ulyanovsk region of western Russia. Completion is scheduled for 2020. The 150MWt reactor will primarily use sodium as a coolant and vibro-packed mixed-oxide (vmox) fuel. VMOX is a Russian variant of mox fuel in which blended uranium-plutonium oxide powders and fresh uranium-oxide powder are loaded directly into the cladding tube of the fuel assembly instead of first being manufactured into pellets. MBIR will be used for materials testing for Generation IV fast neutron reactors. The reactor will have three independent loops, which can be used to test different coolants (gas, lead, molten salt and others). It will be used for experiments on the operating parameters of core components under normal and emergency conditions with the different coolants.

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