16 November 2021

Once the MBIR reactor facility is commissioned, the State Corporation Rosatom expects to provide the nuclear industry with a competitive research infrastructure for at least the next 50 years and to attract research scientists from around the world to work together in order to develop the nuclear power industry of the future. This will allow Russia to be at the forefront of global development in innovative reactor technology.

On 10 November, the State Corporation Rosatom held a conference on the Program for Advanced Experimental Research at the MBIR Reactor Facility for the Period from 2028 to 2040. The event was attended by more than 90 scientists, experts and executives from 26 leading Russian research centres. Representatives of the State Corporation Rosatom, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Kurchatov Institute, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Lomonosov Moscow State University and other leading Russian technical universities made presentations on their participation in the implementation of the MBIR project's scientific objectives.

In welcoming the participants, Yuri Olenin, Deputy Director General for Science and Strategy of the State Corporation Rosatom, highlighted the importance of the conference subject and emphasized that the construction of the MBIR reactor facility is a crucial project, not only for the domestic nuclear industry, but also for the entire world.

"The international fleet of research reactors is ageing and being decommissioned. The global nuclear industry has a serious need for high-performance, high-flux reactor facilities. In this regard, the State Corporation Rosatom has made a strategic decision to grant foreign partners access to the MBIR reactor. In addition, as we know, the PIK research reactor was launched in Gatchina in February this year. Structurally and ideologically, the PIK reactor and the MBIR reactor complement each other as thermal-neutron and fast-neutron reactors. Commissioning the MBIR reactor will create in our country a unique opportunity for neutron research of any type", said Yuri Olenin.

During the conference, Dmitry Klinov, Manager of the MBIR Reactor Research and Development Project, presented the Russian Advanced Experimental Research Program. Peter Fomichenkov, Deputy Director of the Kurchatov Advanced Nuclear Power Facility of the NRC “Kurchatov Institute”, outlined the research proposals at the MBIR reactor facility to develop advanced reactor concepts. Stepan Kalmykov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, reported on the objectives of closing the nuclear fuel cycle in the implementation of the MBIR project. Egor Lychagin, Deputy Director for Research of the Neutron Physics Laboratory of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, delivered a presentation on the possibility of conducting fundamental research with cold and ultracold neutrons. Vladimir Skupov, Director of the research design and technology department for the development of fuel rods for fast-neutron and gas-cooled reactors at the Joint Stock Company "A.A. Bochvar High-technology Research Institute of Inorganic Materials" reported on the research at MBIR reactor facility to develop materials and products for advanced reactor cores.

Sergey Kiverov, Deputy Director for Facilities under Construction at the Joint Stock Company “State Research Centre Research Institute of Atomic Reactors”, reported on the current construction stage and the pace of construction.

"Most of the key construction activities, planned for this year, were completed ahead of schedule, including concreting of the reactor unit to the +13 meters mark and the installation of the floor slab at the base of the reactor shaft," said Sergey Kiverov.

Vasily Konstantinov, Director in International Science and Technology Projects at the State Corporation Rosatom, summarized the outcomes of the conference. "Today we have become convinced that the Russian multilateral scientific research program had been developed, and the capabilities of the MBIR reactor are suitable for a wide range of work in both non-power applications and research in fundamental and applied physics," stressed Vasily Konstantinov. “I am sure that the collaboration will transform the program into an international one, with hundreds of scientists and experts from different countries working jointly to set the global trend for accelerated development of fast-neutron reactors.”

Participating in the implementation of the international experimental research program based on the MBIR reactor, the project partners can develop their own national programs in the field of nuclear power. The MBIR Reactor International Research Centre Consortium has been established to meet the challenges of joining Russian and foreign partners. The Consortium will become a centre of atomic competence for fast-neutron reactors.

Additional information:

To date, the world's only fast-neutron research BOR-60 reactor is in operation in Russia. The unique characteristics and experimental capabilities of the MBIR reactor will enable a tenfold acceleration and significant expansion of research directions in justifying solutions for two-component nuclear power, industrial Generation 4 nuclear reactor technologies and closing the nuclear fuel cycle.

The MBIR reactor will be one of the most high-performance research reactors in operation, under construction and design in the world. It will provide the nuclear industry with a modern and technologically advanced research infrastructure for the next 50 years. Up to 50% of the research facility's capacity is earmarked for use by international partners. The creation of the MBIR reactor research facility is a part of the comprehensive program "Development of Techniques, Technologies and Scientific Research in the Use of Atomic Energy in the Russian Federation", adopted by the Russian Government at the end of last year.

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