IAEA welcomes improvements at Turkish research reactor

11 May 2017

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) integrated safety assessment of research reactors (INSARR) follow-up mission said the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) has implemented several safety improvements to the TR-2 research reactor in Turkey, including modifications to strengthen protection against seismic hazards, upgrades to operational safety systems and improvements to safety documentation.

The team noted that improvements carried out following a 2015 review covered areas such as reactor safety analysis, management systems, training and qualification of personnel, commissioning of the reactor with the new fuel, and seismic safety. The TR-2, a 5MWt research reactor at the Cekmece nuclear research and training centre in Istanbul, was commissioned in 1981 and initially used high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to carry out research and training and to produce radioisotopes.

The reactor was shut down in 2009 for upgrades and conversion to use low-enriched uranium (LEU). The HEU fuel was shipped back to the US in 2009. TAEK is now asking for regulatory approval to restart the reactor using LEU fuel. A spokesman for the TAEK said the reactor is needed for nuclear research, training and radioisotope production. 

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