Press reports coming out of Thailand have suggested that the $130 million project to build a new research reactor at Ongkharak was suspended. The government has denied this.

The claims followed a public meeting where Deputy minister Parnthep Techapaiboon reportedly said that he “could not allow the construction of the reactor project to proceed” unless the project developer, the Office of Atomic Energy for Peace (OAEP), could answer all questions related to safety.

OAEP appointed General Atomics as the prime contractor who is working on the preliminary safety report.

The press reports suggest that GA has not, as required, been able to get the US NRC to perform a safety review.

However, as the authorities know that NRC has a policy of not performing safety reviews of reactors outside the USA, this had not been a condition.

Contractor sources have said that preparation of the safety report is on shedule and the go-ahead to begin construction in September is still expected.