Spain’s Equipos Nucleares (Ensa) has completed the installation of three heat exchangers for the Jules Horowitz Reactor (JHR), under construction at Atomic & Alternative Energies Commission in Cadarache, southern France.
Once in operation, the Jules Horowitz reactor will be used for testing of materials and fuels for current and future nuclear reactor designs.
Ensa has carried out the work as part of the Spanish contribution to the development and execution of JHR, and is responsible for manufacturing and installing the heat exchangers of the primary circuit.
Ensa completed hydraulic testing of the large components in June 2018. The installation process proved complicated because of the manoeuvres required to install the exchangers in their final location due to the limited space.
JHR is being built by an international consortium of research institutes from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the European Commission, as well as major companies including EDF, Framatome and TechnicAtome. Partners from India and Japan have also joined the consortium.
The JHR project is part of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. It is one of three new research reactors forming the cornerstones of the European Research Area of Experimental Reactors, alongside the Myrrha accelerator-driven research reactor at Mol in Belgium and the Pallas reactor at Petten in the Netherlands.
CEA is funding 50% of the total €500 million ($551 million) construction cost, EDF (20%), the research institutes (20%) and Framatome (10%).
JHR, a 100 MWt light water-cooled reactor, will replace the 70MWt Osiris reactor, which took over some of the functions of the 35MWt Siloé reactor.
Site preparations for JHR began in March 2007, with first concrete for its basemat poured in August 2009. Civil engineering work for the reactor building was completed in March 2017.
Because of its modular design, JHR will be highly versatile and able to accommodate some 20 simultaneous experiments. Its anticipated lifespan is 50-years.
As well as materials and fuel testing, JHR will produce radioisotopes for use in nuclear medicine in coordination with the NRG production facilities at Petten in the Netherlands.
Photo: Installation of one of the heat exchangers for JHR (Credit: Ensa)