Rosatom presented its latest projects in the field of nuclear technology at the European Conference on Research Reactors (RRFM), which was held from 24 to 30 September.
The event, organised by the European Nuclear Society, brought together more than 170 experts from 18 countries, representing government agencies, international organisations and industry as well as major research centres and laboratories in Europe, the USA, Latin America and Asia. The conference was held in a hybrid format.
Vice-President of Rusatom Overseas for projects of research reactors and centres of nuclear science and technology (CNST) Dmitry Vysotsky and the head of the International Affairs Department of the LLC MCI MBIR Consortium Artem Goncharuk presented innovative projects at a session on "New projects in the field of research reactors".
These included an updated product line for CNSTs under a single brand RIVER (Research Innovative VErsatile Education Reactor) and Russia’s project for an International Research Centre based on the MBIR reactor under construction in Dimitrovgrad.
“Our RIVER product line includes a variety of generic flexible nuclear solutions for scientific and commercial applications, and the name itself symbolises flow and continuous development,” said Vysotsky. “It presents three basic gradations: RIVER I - INTRO for the subcritical test bench; RIVER A - ADVANCED - for a more advanced configuration of the CNST and; RIVER PRO - for the complex CNST. At the same time, the line also includes special product solutions for agriculture and healthcare - RIVER AGRO and RIVER MED, which can be selected by the partner country both separately and as part of a comprehensive offer. And, of course, we traditionally offer services in the field of modernisation and retrofitting of existing research reactors - RIVER PLUS. Thus, all RIVER solutions are tailored to the needs of the customer country, taking into account its experience in the application of nuclear technology, economic, social and commercial aspects.”
Artem Goncharuk spoke about implementation of the project for an International Research Centre based on the MBIR reactor, which will become a global platform for experimental nuclear physics research and will substantiate the development of two-component nuclear power. MBIR is a multipurpose fast neutron research reactor, which, upon commissioning, will receive the status of a world leader among high-flux research facilities. The unique physical characteristics of the reactor will make it possible not only to carry out a full cycle of research on promising materials and equipment for Generation 4 reactor technologies, but also to simultaneously carry out a wide range of works in the field of non-power applications, in particular, to produce radioisotopes and modified materials for medical and basic research.
The access of Russian and foreign partners to the MBIR reactor will be realised through a legal platform that is unique for the Russian market and scientific projects - the MCI MBIR Consortium. The implementation of research programmes based on the reactor will be the coordinated work of hundreds of scientists and experts from different countries and will accelerate the development of fast nuclear energy.
Earlier in September, Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev confirmed that the commissioning of the multipurpose fast neutron research reactor (MBIR) is scheduled for 2028. Installation of the reactor shaft equipment began in August and construction is now ahead of the schedule by a year, he noted.
The high-flux research reactor will be used to test new materials, mock-ups of core elements for next-generation installations - fast reactors that close the fuel cycle and thermal reactors of low and medium power. “It is clear that the world community is following this with great interest, negotiations are most active with partners from China and France,” Likhachev said.
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