Iran: Work Begins On New Research Reactor


Concrete pouring for a 10 MW research reactor has begun at Isfahan, the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) has announced. The organisation has also declared operational a new emergency control room simulator for unit 1 at the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

“The concrete placing operation of the main structure of the 10MW research reactor was started with the presence of Mr Eslami, the head of the AEOI, in the Isfahan nuclear site,” the AEOI said. “The research reactor is a pool-type multi-purpose research reactor and will be built for various uses and purposes in the fields of industry and health.”

According to an AEOI announcement on 5 February, the research reactor will use fuel enriched to 20% uranium-235 and is designed to produce a high-flux source of neutrons. Its main uses will be for the testing of fuel and nuclear materials, production of industrial radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, and development of neutron beam lines for various uses such as radiography, diffraction, material analysis, production of silicon semiconductors and cold neutron sources, and education and research.

Bushehr simulator operational

In a separate announcement, the AEOI said the emergency control room (ECR) simulator at Bushehr 1 is now operational, and is scheduled for full training use within the next few months.

The ECR is used by plant operators should the main control room (MCR) of the plant, a Russian-designed VVER-1000 pressurised water reactor, become unavailable. The ECR “is intended for activating the safety systems, bringing the reactor to sub-critical state and maintaining it for an unlimited period of time, removal of residual heat from the reactor, and monitoring important reactor parameters in case of MCR failure”, the AEOI said.

All the components of the ECR simulator as well as the software needed to connect it to the plant’s full scope simulator have been developed domestically, AEOI head Mohammad Eslami said.

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