MBIR reactor is under constructionAfter commissioning the MBIR multipurpose research reactor facility, Rosatom expects to provide the nuclear industry with a competitive research infrastructure for at least the next 50 years and attract research scientists from all over the world to work together in the interests of developing the nuclear energy of the future. 

Rosatom announced this on 15 November at a conference on "The Programme of Advanced Experimental Research at the MBIR Reactor from 2028 to 2040".

More than 90 scientists, experts and leaders from 26 leading scientific centres of Russia took part. The conference heard reports from representatives of Rosatom, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Kurchatov Institute, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Moscow State University made reports on their participation in the implementation of the scientific tasks of the MBIR project. Lomonosov and other leading technical universities in Russia.

Welcoming the participants, Rosatom Deputy General Director for Science and Strategy Yuri Olenin stressed that the construction of the MBIR reactor is a major project, not only for the domestic nuclear industry, but for the whole world. “The international park of research reactors is becoming obsolete, they are being decommissioned. In the global nuclear industry, there is a serious need for powerful, high-flux reactor facilities. In this regard, Rosatom made a strategic decision to provide foreign partners with access to the MBIR reactor, he said. “In addition, as we know, in February of this year, the PIK research reactor was launched in Gatchina. Structurally and ideologically, the PIK and MBIR reactors complement each other, like reactors with a thermal and fast neutron spectrum. With the commissioning of the MBIR reactor facility, we will create in our country a unique opportunity for neutron research of any type,” he said.

During the conference, Dmitry Klinov, the head of the MBIR R&D project, presented the Russian programme of promising experimental research. Petr Fomichenkov, Deputy Head of the Kurchatov Complex of Advanced Nuclear Power Engineering at the Kurchatov Institute Research Center, spoke about proposals for research at MBIR for the development of promising reactor concepts. Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry, Moscow State University, spoke about the tasks of closing the nuclear fuel cycle in the implementation of the MBIR project. M.V. Lomonosov Stepan Kalmykov. Egor Lychagin, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research Laboratory of Neutron Physics, discussed the possibility of fundamental research using cold and ultracold neutrons.

Sergey Kiverov, Deputy Director for Facilities under Construction at JSC "SSC RIAR", reported on the stage of construction of the project at the moment and how the pace of construction is progressing.

“Most of the key construction events this year were completed ahead of schedule, including the completion of the concreting of the reactor block to the +13 meters mark and the installation of a floor slab at the base of the reactor shaft,” he said.


The results of the conference were summed up by the director of international scientific and technical projects of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom Vasily Konstantinov:

“Today we are convinced that a multilateral Russian scientific research program has been developed, and the capabilities of the MBIR reactor are suitable for a wide range of work in the field of both non-energy applications and research in the field of fundamental and applied physics,” he stressed. “I am sure that as a result of joint work, the program will be transformed into a global international one, the implementation of which will be a well-coordinated work of hundreds of scientists and experts from different countries and will set the global trend to accelerate the development of fast nuclear energy”.

Participation in the implementation of the international programme of experimental research based on the MBIR reactor will allow the project partners to develop their own national programmes in the field of nuclear energy. To encourage collaboration between Russian and foreign partners, a consortium, International Research Centre based on the MBIR reactor” (MCI MBIR) was created, which will become the centre of atomic competence in fast reactors.

“MBIR will become one of the most powerful operating, constructed and designed research reactors in the world. It will provide the nuclear industry with a modern and technologically advanced research infrastructure for the next 50 years,” according to MCI MBIR. Up to 50% of the research facility's capacity is intended for use by international partners. The creation of the MBIR research facility is included in the comprehensive programme "Development of equipment, technologies and scientific research in the field of atomic energy use in the Russian Federation", adopted by the Government of Russia at the end of last year. It is expected that the commissioning of the reactor will allow Russia to maintain its position at the forefront of the world development of innovative reactor technologies.

Photo: MBIR (Credit: Rosatom)