News

14.04.2022

MBIR Vessel Arrived Successfully to RIAR

A reactor vessel for multipurpose sodium-cooled fast research reactor (MBIR) was successfully delivered to RIAR JSC (ROSATOM scientific division).  

The reactor vessel is a unique thin-walled construction 12 meters long, 4 meters in diameter and more than 83 tons in mass was produced by ROSATOM Power Engineering Division. For precise parameters throughout the entire production process, special instrumentation developed by the specialists of the "AEM-technologies" JSC in Volgodonsk was used.

“The unique properties of this reactor justify the capabilities of dual-component nuclear power and fuel cycle closure. The main supposed purposes of MBIR are the in-pile testing of structural and fuel materials, Gen-IV nuclear reactor cores, including fast reactors and thermal low- and medium-power reactors”, - said Alexander Tuzov, Director of RIAR JSC.

Today, more than 1,500 workers and engineers work at the construction site, and about 100 pieces of equipment are involved. Both main and auxiliary buildings are being constructed simultaneously. This year is scheduled to install the reactor vessel into the design position.

“Thanks to coordinated work led by Gennady Sakharov, the Director for Capital Investments, State Construction Supervision and State Expertise, ROSATOM, as well as by MBIR Construction Consortium Members based on ACCNI, the supply of components and construction activities are going smoothly. Of course, high-tech innovations and advanced management are prominent for the effective promotion within the ambitious deadlines”. – said Sergey Kiverov, Deputy Director for Facilities under Construction (RIAR), Head of the MBIR construction project.

 

For information:

MBIR- is a Gen-IV multipurpose sodium-cooled fast research reactor. After commissioning the facility will be the most high-performance (150 MW) operating fast research reactor in the world. The facility will pave the way to unique irradiation and post-irradiation experiments and to the improvement of isotopes and modified materials production. The work is being undertaken under the Federal Project "The Establishment of Innovative Experimental Base to Develop Dual-Component Nuclear Energy with Closed Fuel Cycle", a part of the Comprehensive Program "Development of Techniques, Technologies and Scientific Research in the Field of Nuclear Energy Use in The Russian Federation for the Period till 2024". The MBIR will replace the BOR-60 fast test reactor operated by RIAR for the last 50 years. The new reactor will provide the nuclear industry with an advanced research infrastructure for the next 50 years.

A Building Information Model and lean manufacturing technologies are used at the MBIR construction site. An index change system and a reliable target cost determination using information modeling technologies for nuclear facilities are also applied. Integrated remote monitoring tools are used at the construction site: high-resolution satellite imagery, including from unmanned aerial vehicles, laser scanning.

RIAR JSC (Research Institute of Nuclear Reactors, State Scientific Centre, Joint-Stock Company; ROSATOM) is the major and one of the largest scientific and research entity in the nuclear industry in Russia and in Europe that represents irradiation services and post-irradiation examinations of materials and nuclear power engineering products, the unique multifield experimental capabilities allow RIAR to carry out scientific and production activities related to basic scientific trends of nuclear power engineering; RIAR is also a developer and manufacturer of extensive nomenclature of radionuclides and radioactive sources for science, industry and medicine.

Atomenergomash (AEM) was established in 2007 as part of ROSATOM. Аtomenergomash JSC is one of the Russia’s leading power engineering company and a part of Mechanical Engineering Industry Association. The AEM engineering center is staffed with experienced designers and engineers. It also has two sites: "AEM-technologies" "Petrozavodskmash" in Petrozavodsk and "Atommash» - a business unit of "AEM-technologies" JSC in Volgodonsk.

31.03.2022

RIAR SPECIALISTS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY REFURBISHED THE VK-50 REACTOR

The RIAR JSC, ROSATOM, JSC Science and Innovations, successfully refurbished the VK-50 reactor. For the first time in the last 20 years it delivered 50 MW of high power.

VK-50 supplies energy and heat to the Ulyanovsk region utilities as well as to the RIAR’s site. Besides, it is used for a wide range of experimental work. This is the first and the only one operating Boiling Water Reactor with natural coolant circulation.

Over eight months, the steam turbine and cooling tower were overhauled, the power equipment was partially refurbished, and the reactor buildings were reconstructed. Andrey Vorobey, Chief Engineer of RIAR JSC commented: “The repairs improved the reliability of the VK-50 equipment and, as a result, RIAR’s energy security is ensured until the turbine generator of the under-construction MBIR facility is commissioned. I believe that the VK-50 team, with an active support of the repair service, did an excellent job and demonstrated high competence, goal orientation, and real devotion to their “cherished machine”. I am sincerely grateful to all the participants”.

During the refurbishment, the reactor personnel together with their colleagues from other RIAR’s Departments upgraded the reactor safety-critical equipment. The upgrades included: repairs of the control and protection system and heat exchangers, total repair of water pumps, reactor core refueling, pressure leak test of the fuel assembly ducts, etc.

Third-party organizations, including the Kaluga Power Engineering Plant, building and engineering companies were involved. The sub-contractors performed a major overhaul of the steam turbine unit, restored the performance of the cooling tower, completely replaced the irrigation system and water distribution devices. They also reinforced two buildings and renovated the central and turbine rooms.

When finishing the repair work, expert organizations examined the reactor buildings and reviewed the documents substantiating their residual life-time and confirmed the operator’s decision to extend it till 2041,” said Yaroslav Rogovoy, Head of the VK-50 reactor.

For information:

The VK-50 reactor was designed under the initiative of Academician Igor Kurchatov to study in the reactor building area. Since 1965, a large scope of experimental and R&D work has been performed to justify safety of operating and in-design NPPs in Russia and abroad. These outcomes were used for a number of PhD papers. In addition to a wide range of R&D activities to study the operation of a Boiling Water Reactor with natural coolant circulation, the VK-50 reactor also generates and delivers electricity and heat to RIAR site and Ulyanovsk region utilities.

 

RIAR JSC (Research Institute of Nuclear Reactors, State Scientific Centre, ROSATOM scientific division) is the largest research center in Russia and in the world. RIAR provides R&D-intensive hi-tech services for a wide range of reactor and post-irradiation experiments. RIAR has the unique experimental base to face the challenges of reactor materials science and closed nuclear fuel cycle. RIAR is a leading producer and supplier of a wide range of radioisotopes for medical, industrial and other purposes.

10.09.2020

Dimitrovgrad welcomed IRC MBIR and PRC Coordination Meeting chaired by Gennady Sakharov

On his working trip, Gennady Sakharov, Director for Capital Investments, State Construction Regulations, and State Expert Reviews at ROSATOM visited RIAR JSC (Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk region), where nuclear research installation MBIR and Polyfunctional Radiochemical Complex (PRC) are being constructed. The event was attended by more than 40 specialists representing ROSATOM and companies of Association of Organizations of the Construction Complex of the Nuclear Industry (ACCNI).

During the visit, the participants toured MBIR construction site, discussed in details the progress in installation and construction activities and a range of cooperation-related issues.

“This year we have really come a long and complicated way to implement this large-scale construction. I would like to emphasize again that MBIR is among strategic projects of national nuclear industry. This project will no doubt enable ROSATOM to be the world’s leader in the field of nuclear technologies” Gennady Sakharov said in his opening speech.

At present, there are more than 200 builders, including engineers, 26 units of equipment on the construction site. A new General Contractor “Orgenergostroy Insitute” JSC will increase the working personnel up to 500 people even in 2021, taking into account current and scheduled contraction by the end of 2020. More than 100 engineers will be engaged in the project implementation; the number of equipment will be increased up to 112 units. Later on, the number of builders is expected to be 1300 people.

During the Coordination Meeting, two contract signing ceremonies were held. The first contract was signed by Sergey Kiverov, Deputy Director for Construction, MBIR and PRC Project Manager, RIAR JSC and Elkuja Kokosadze, Director General, “Orgenergostroy Insitute” JSC. This Contract creates the General Contractor’s liabilities in the scope of installation and construction work at MBIR by construction years in accordance with the first-level schedule approved by Alexey Likhachev, Director General, ROSATOM. The second contract signed by ACCNI members fixes the intentions of cooperation in the format of Consortium.

The Meeting participants gave special attention to implementation of information modelling technology at MBIR (BIM model). ROSATOM is rapidly moving to digitalization by implementing BIM as a crucial instrument of the competitive advantage in the world market. In particular, this August, RIAR used pilotless aircrafts to get visual information and structured data to create a digital model of its site.

According to specialists from Industry Center for Capital Construction, the digital model will be used for MBIR Project development and implementation, including plan-fact analysis, definition of necessary cadastral works scope, and coordination of construction equipment movement around the site and also for remote work control at a construction stage. “Such approach will enable to effectively use resources and significantly reduce expenses regarding time and cost of the Project” specialists said and added that the remote construction monitoring will make it possible to draw up recommendations on enhancing construction rate monitoring, to decrease human factor errors and to optimize costs for construction monitoring and logistics.

Reference:

MBIR-based International Research Center is being constructed at RIAR JSC site (ROSATOM Scientific Division, Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk region). Within its framework both foreign and Russian participants can get access to the reactor capabilities and perform necessary tests when the reactor is commissioned. The MBIR start-up will strengthen Russia’s leadership in the global market of fast nuclear facilities and possess a unique research infrastructure that is important to promote Russia’s interests in the world.

Unique MBIR parameters with thermal capacity of 150MW and high neutron flux (5.3*1015 n*cm-2*s-1) provide for a wide range of research challenges to be solved in justification of new competitive and safe nuclear power installations, including fast reactors to close nuclear fuel cycle. At that, test time on a new reactor will be severalfold reduced in comparison to the existing reactors.

21.01.2020

RIAR JSC signed an R&D contract with the flagship China’s company in the production of carbon materials

RIAR JSC, (a member of scientific division of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation) and Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Ltd. (the People’s Republic of China) signed a long-term contract for graphite irradiation followed by post-irradiation examinations of graphite samples provided that the irradiation conditions are similar to those of graphite operation in advanced high-temperature gas-cooled reactor HTR-PM600.

This contract provides that RIAR JSC will perform design engineering and manufacture irradiation rigs to conduct irradiation testing of graphite samples both in the BOR-60 reactor core and its lateral blanket at different temperatures. The irradiation test will be followed by post-irradiation examinations of graphite once target damage dose values have been achieved

It is envisaged that the China’s experts will apply the experimental data obtained by RIAR to justify the use of graphite as structural material of the core for advanced high-temperature gas-cooled reactor HTR-PM600.

All the research under the Contract is to be accomplished in 2024.

For your information only:

Reactor HTR-PM600 is high temperature gas cooled reactor - pebble-bed module. The HTR-PM600 reactor concept is the China’s evolutionary development of HTR-PM. Its major difference enables connecting six reactor modules to one turbine. The total thermal power output of the unit will be 1500 MW but its electrical power will be 655 MW.

17.10.2019

One of the key stages of the SM reactor refurbishment has been successfully completed

RIAR JSC continues refurbishing the SM reactor. The most important part of this work – removal of the reactor core and its transportation in a special container for long-term storage to the RW&SNF Handling Department - was successfully completed last Saturday. The necessary equipment for removing and transporting the reactor core, which has been operated for more than 25 years, was developed by RIAR’s specialists from the Design and Construction Department and manufactured at RIAR as well.

“The work was done by the specialists of Research Reactors Complex, Transport Service and RW&SNF Handling Department under the supervision of Radiation Safety & Environmental Protection Department,” said Alexander Tuzov, Director of RIAR JSC. “A successful completion of complicated technological operation has once again shown that RIAR offers unique competencies.”

According to the refurbishment project schedule, a new core will be installed into the reactor vessel by the end of this year; by March 2020, the reactor is to be ready for experiments to determine the neutronic characteristics of a new core.

“SM-3 is the very first and, it would seem, the oldest RIAR’s reactor. But at the same time, it is the youngest reactor since it is constantly upgraded. We are the developers of a unique technology for replacing obsolete reactor internals. Earlier, the reactor core was already replaced three times” says Alexey Petelin, Head of RIAR’s Research Reactors Complex, summing up one of the most important key tasks of SM-3 reactor refurbishment.

For your information only:

SM is a high-flux vessel-type water-cooled research reactor with a neutron trap. The specific reactor design, neutron trap, several dozens of experimental channels and loop facilities provide the opportunity for a variety of studies, accumulation of transuranium elements and radionuclides with high specific activity.

10.07.2019

RIAR’s specialists successfully completed work under the BEST project

A unique artificial Cr-51 neutrino source was manufactured at RIAR and delivered to the Baksan Neutrino Observatory of the Institute of Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The work was done as part of the unique international scientific experiment “BEST” (Baksan Experiment on Sterile Transitions) in the field of neutrino physics to search a new elementary particle, so-called “sterile” neutrino. According to the calculations, the Cr-51 activity in the source at the end of irradiation in the reactor made up 3.5–3.6MCi: to obtain statistically significant experimental results, an activity of at least 3MCi is required.

“Under this project, RIAR carried out computational and experimental studies on the possibility of obtaining the required Cr-51 activity using the central neutron trap of the SM reactor; metallic chromium-50 was irradiated using the newly developed unique irradiation rig,” says Alexander Zvir, Project Manager, Deputy Director for Production”, “and only then a sealed neutrino source was made from the accumulated radioactive material.”

Earlier, the RIAR’s specialists visited the neutrino laboratory and discussed all the scientific, technical and organizational issues for preparing a complicated experiment. It should be noted that a unique work on creating the source involved employees from different RIAR’s departments: Research Reactors Complex, Radionuclide Sources & Preparations Department, Design & Construction Department, Chief Welder Service, and Radiation Safety Department.

Professor Vladimir Gavrin, A.M. of the Russian Academy of Sciences said that once delivered to the Baksan Neutrino Observatory on July 5, the neutrino source was placed into the irradiation channel of gallium detector of gallium-germanium neutrino telescope. The BEST experiment has started. The first results of the BEST experiment are expected to be published in 2020.

For your information only:

Neutrino is one of the elementary particles that is extremely difficult to register, since it practically does not interact with matter. Scientists believe that determining neutrinos properties will significantly advance understanding in the physics of elementary particles, fundamental laws of the Universe and sensing the Universe development after the Big Bang.

The BEST experiment is assumed to help answer the question about the existence of the fourth type of neutrino - “sterile” (in addition to electronic, tau- and muon).

The BEST experiment is being conducted at the underground laboratory of the gallium-germanium neutrino telescope at the Baksan neutrino observatory (Baksan gorge, North Caucasus), constructed back in Soviet times specifically for studying neutrinos. Among the main areas of laboratory research is the study of internal structure and evolution of the Sun, stars, Galaxy core and other objects of the Universe by recording their neutrino radiation.

The Institute of Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences coordinates the implementation of the BEST project, the international collaboration of which includes 15 scientific organizations in Russia, Germany, the USA, Canada and Japan.