Rostechnadzor, the Russian regulator, has granted the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) a licence to site a multi-purpose fast neutron research reactor (MBIR) in Dimitrovgrad, in the Ulyanovsk region. The licence is valid until 25 June 2019, the same year the reactor is to be commissioned.
NIIAR and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise VO "Safety" – which reports to Rostechnadzor - announced issuance of the licence in separate statements yesterday.
NIIAR has started pre-construction work on the MBIR following approval in March of its project documentation and engineering surveys. The next step is to obtain a construction licence, for which NIIAR has already submitted its application to Rostechnadzor.
"Obtaining a siting licence is an important milestone in the project to create the most powerful of all research reactors that are either active, in design, or under construction in the world, and confirms that the technical decisions and safety principles for the MBIR design comply with all federal rules and regulations in the field of nuclear energy," NIIAR said.
The design and construction of MBIR is being carried out within the framework of the federal target program "Nuclear Power New Generation in 2010-2015 and until 2020".
The MBIR is a 150 MWt, sodium-cooled fast reactor and will have a design life of up to 50 years. It will be a multi-loop research reactor capable of testing lead, lead-bismuth and gas coolants, and running on MOX fuel. NIIAR intends to set up on-site closed fuel cycle facilities for the MBIR, using pyrochemical reprocessing it has developed at pilot scale. The MBIR will replace the BOR-60 experimental fast reactor that has been in operation at NIIAR's site since 1969.