The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for the world's most powerful multipurpose research reactor (MBIR) will be shipped to the Rosatom’s Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad later this year. The MBIR RPV is being manufactured by the AEM-Technologies branch of the Atommash plant (Volgodonsk, Rostov Region), part of Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division Atomenergomash.
"MBIR is a fundamentally new project that requires special attention to manufacturing and control operations at every stage,” said AEM-technologies CEO Igor Kotov. “Last year we successfully completed the manufacture of all elements and carried out most of the necessary controls. Now we have to carry out a control assembly, and the reactor vessel will be fully ready for shipment. We are planning to deliver the equipment to Dimitrovgrad by water during this year's navigation.” An operating licence for the reactor is expected in 2027 for commissioning in 2028.
It is assumed that MBIR will provide the nuclear industry with a modern and technologically advanced research infrastructure for the next half century. The unique technical characteristics of MBIR will make it possible to solve a wide range of research problems to justify the creation of new competitive and safe nuclear power plants, including fast reactors for closing the nuclear fuel cycle. At the same time, the research time at the new reactor will be reduced by several times in comparison with the currently operating installations. MBIR was designed by the NN Dollezhal Research and Design Institute of Power Engineering (Nikiet).
MBIR will be the basis of an international research centre, within the framework of which foreign participants will be able to carry out their experiments. Thus, with the launch of MBIR, Russia will receive significant additional advantages in the global market for research nuclear installations. The 150 MWt reactor will replace the BOR-60 fast reactor operating in Dimitrovgrad which is approaching the end of its design life. MBIR is included in the structure of ICERR (International Centre for the Implementation of Joint Research Projects Based on Research Reactors), and is considered as an experimental base under the auspices of the IAEA.