China National Nuclear Corporation said on 25 June that the cold test phase of China’s experimental fast reactor (CEFR) has been completed on schedule, and that hot tests have begun.

The cold performance tests are designed to obtain the initial operation data of the system and equipment, verify the operation compatibility of related system and the function of system.

The sodium-cooled fast reactor is being constructed with some Russian assistance at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIEA), near Beijing. It is a 65MWt reactor with a 25MWe turbine generator.

In April, Afrikantov OKBM (a 100% subsidiary of JSC Atomenergoprom) said it had completed installation of the main equipment for CEFR including the reactor protection system, heat exchangers, controls, and safety systems. In May the reactor was charged with sodium coolant.

Fuel, produced by TVEL will be loaded into the reactor in July/August. According to delegates at the FISA conference which took place in Prague last week, the reactor is due to start-up in September.

China has signed a cooperation agreement with the European Commission and is taking part in a number of research and development projects under the Euratom Framework Programme (FP7).

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