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[en] Argentina has a vast experience in the subject that brings us together, and particularly CNEA has played a central role in the development of these relevant capabilities. Moreover, our national nuclear industry was born around the activities carried out by the CNEA at the beginning of the 50's, and all along these decades, the scientific and production working groups around the research reactors became a central axis of its growth. This allow us to position ourselves as an undisputed reference in this field, which is reflected in the amount of papers and posters presented by Argentinian colleagues. It is good to know that today we have here representatives of several countries that have relied on my country´s experience and its nuclear organizations such as CNEA and INVAP, to export strategic nuclear facilities including, particularly, research reactors. In this sense, it must be highlighted the role of CNEA in the field of research reactors, underlining that during this process it has exhibited an unquestionable commitment to the peaceful development of the associated technology, as indicated by the development and manufacture of targets of low enrichment uranium for the production of Mo-99 for nuclear medicine. That reinforces our commitment with the development of nuclear technology for peaceful uses, complemented with an active international cooperation role. The core conversion (from HEU to LEU) of the Argentinian research reactors in operation was concluded, as well as the exportation and technology transfer of those developments, highlighting the exports made by INVAP with CNEA's support for countries such as Algeria, Egypt or Australia. Currently, Argentina is engaged in diverse projects that will allow an international projection and collaboration in the near future. An example of that is the RA-10, a multipurpose research reactor that CNEA is building at the Ezeiza Atomic Center. In Argentina, as in the rest of the 53 countries operating the 224 nuclear research reactors, the safe operation of these facilities is a fundamental tool for capacitybuilding. The development of new experiences and knowledge, both in terms of human resources training and in the multiple peaceful applications of the nuclear technology, are also key factors for the operation of research reactors.
[en] Interest in research reactors remains high, with good reason, considering the important role they play in our society. Since the 1950s, hundreds of research reactors around the world have benefited us all in many ways. The 224 research reactors that are in operation now continue to be a cornerstone of the development of nuclear science and technology programmes in 53 countries. Over 30 new research reactor programmes are being planned and developed, some of them in countries with no experience of operating a nuclear installation. Research reactors are key to not only nuclear education and training but also to scientific, industrial, medical and agricultural development. And they can contribute to the development of nuclear power programmes. The sustainability of research reactors depends on several factors, including continuous improvement of safety and security, effective operation management and efficient utilization of the facilities. All research reactor programmes, including those in the planning stages, should be managed in a coordinated manner that involves all stakeholders and provides for effectiveness and sustainability of the programmes.
[en] The International Conference on Research Reactors, held every four years, is one of the IAEA activities supporting countries in addressing the opportunities and challenges related to research reactor programmes. This publication presents a summary and other material from the 2019 conference. The main challenges the research reactor community is facing include the need to ensure regulatory effectiveness, manage the ageing of the facilities, ensure knowledge transfer, and improve utilization programmes and strategic planning. This conference provided a forum for reactor operators, managers, users, regulators, designers and suppliers to exchange best practices and learn from each other, particularly in addressing common issues, challenges and strategies. This resulted in a publication which provides a summary of the conference, the major findings and conclusions of the sessions, and the opening and closing addresses. The accompanying online files include the individual technical papers and presentations.
[en] Nuclear energy is much more than only electricity generation. Nuclear technology has several beneficial uses that represent well-being and higher life standards for our societies. These uses cover a wide range of sectors from nuclear medicine, to agricultural applications, food irradiation, sterilization of disease carriers, and water desalination, within others. In this framework, research reactors are essential for these purposes and for further nuclear technological development as they are used for research, training and education.
[en] The Maryland University Training Reactor (MUTR) is a small research reactor located on the campus of the University of Maryland (UMD) College Park. Its mission is to provide educational and research services to the students and researchers at UMD as well as the broader community. At 250 kW, and with 5 experimental ports, the reactor is ideal for a training and small-scale research facility. However, it can still be a valuable teaching and research tool. We are developing outreach programs for primary and secondary school students; using labs and tours to teach about radiation, the uses of nuclear reactors, and the nuclear power industry. (author)
[en] This paper describes the general operation of the Graphic Simulator Instruction and the strategy adopted to carry out the training of the operators, using the main systems in order to integrate a logical process, which allows a knowledge construction from the simplest to the most complex. (author)
[en] Since 2012, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) has been designing a new research reactor, the Ki-Jang Research Reactor (KJRR), to increase self-sufficiency in terms of medical and industrial radioisotope supply, to enlarge the supply of neutron transmutation doping (NTD) silicon, and to contribute advanced technology related to research reactors. The basic design of the KJRR has now been completed, and this will be located at Ki-Jang, near the Kori Nuclear Power Plant complex in the south-eastern province of southern Korea. The licensing application for the construction permit was submitted to the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) of Korea on 25 November, 2014, and the regulatory body, Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), has reviewed the safety issues for the PSAR and the seismic hazard assessment report for two large earthquakes (Gyeongju and Pohang), which occurred near the KJRR site. Additional time was needed to evaluate the characteristics of the seismic events from a geological point of view, meaning the construction permit of the KJRR was delayed and was finally issued on May 10, 2019. The FSAR will be submitted to the regulatory body in order to apply for an operation license. (author)
[en] Several Member States (MS) have planned or started building their first research reactor as a key national facility for the development of their nuclear science and technology programmes, including nuclear power. However, the introduction of the first research reactor in a country requires the establishment of an adequate national infrastructure which covers a wide range of technical areas to ensure that national and international commitments and obligations, particularly regarding safety, security, safeguards and emergency preparedness, are met during the construction, operation and decommissioning phases. IAEA provides support to MS in planning and implementing new RR projects, including the assessment and development of their national nuclear infrastructure; in building and/or preserving national nuclear capacity, including human resources development, through the use of research reactors and procurement of specific equipment and services; and in access to research reactors through workshops and expert missions; delivery of tools for capacity building based on research reactors (ICERR, IRL, hands-on training courses) and development of relevant publications. IAEA published a Nuclear Energy Series report in 2012 on “Specific Considerations and Milestones for a Research Reactor Project” (also known as the Research Reactor Milestones publication or approach). The report provides guidance on the timely preparation of a research reactor project through idealized sequential development phases (Pre-project, Project Formulation and Implementation) that lead to an end point at which an organization would be ready to commission and operate a research reactor. It elaborates the different mechanisms for justification of an RR, and for building stakeholder support and understanding their needs and provides guidance on addressing the range of infrastructure issues (both soft and hard), timely preparation of an RR project through a sequential development process, and the expected level of achievement (Milestones).
[en] Senegal established in 2018-2019 a technical cooperation project with the IAEA entitled “Developing a National Nuclear Infrastructure for Establishing a Research Reactor”. The objectives of the project were to develop regulations and prerequisites for establishing a research reactor and a nuclear power plant in Senegal. The expected outcomes are the establishment of a research reactor for radioisotopes production, Neutron activation analysis (NAA), Research and Development and the training of personnel for implementing the project. (author)
[en] Over the past years the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been promoting international initiatives to support nuclear capacity building of Member states. One of these initiatives is the internet-based nuclear education project called Internet Reactor Laboratory (IRL). IRL can be defined as a distance educational model based on the utilization of video conferencing and online reactor instrumentation systems to provide reactor laboratory demonstrations/experiments to students at other academic institutions. The project, launched by the IAEA in 2014, already covers several countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Moroccan TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor MA-R1 was selected to be the host facility for the Africa region. In March 2018 an agreement was signed between CNESTEN and IAEA establishing the legal framework of the Internet Reactor Laboratory project in Africa. The agreement includes the broadcastings of 6 core experiments to academic institutions across the continent. This paper describes the education and training activities using the MA-R1 research reactor, the approaches regarding the development and implementation of the IRL capabilities, the content of internet based reactor experiments covered by the agreement, the actual status and future plans of the project implementation. (author)