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Rosatom to complete MBIR nuclear research reactor construction a year early in 2027

Highlights

Reactor to supply 50 MW of power

Sodium-based coolant vs water standard

Advanced talks with China, France

  • Author
  • Claudia Carpenter
  • Editor
  • Daniel Lalor
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power

Russian State Atomic Energy Corp. (Rosatom) said Jan. 18 its fast neutron MBIR nuclear research reactor will complete construction one year early in 2027 and be available for research programs in 2028 following cooperation by construction partners.

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"The research program at MBIR reactor aims to speed up development of new materials and fuels from 10 years to five years, supporting development of nuclear energy as an alternative to fossil fuels," Alexander Zagornov, project director, international projects division told S&P Global Platts at Rosatom Week held at the Dubai Expo 2020.

The consortium working on construction was able to work together to speed up the construction process, according to Rosatom.

MBIR, which will be the world's largest fast neutron research reactor, is being constructed by Rosatom in Dimitrovgrad as part of a program to develop infrastructure for new technologies for nuclear energy.

The multipurpose research reactor will have 150 MW of thermal capacity and produce 50 MW of power for use in the Ulyanovsk region.

The MBIR fast nuclear facility uses sodium as a coolant, rather than water in traditional nuclear reactors. Rosatom is in negotiations with China, France and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research to participate in the consortium known as the International Research Center based on the MBIR reactor and discussions are underway with other countries to join including the Czech Republic, India, Kazakhstan and the UAE, according to the company.