A joint International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)–National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (“Academies”) meeting was held July 27–29, 2015, at the IAEA in Vienna. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together nuclear research reactor experts from across the world to identify a list of civilian research and test reactors currently operating with highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel.
This meeting was motivated by the realization that the Academies and IAEA were conducting concurrent and similar efforts. This Academies committee was charged by the U.S. Congress to review the status of research reactor conversion from HEU to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel worldwide; one of the committee’s tasks was to develop a list of civilian research reactors using HEU fuel. At the same time, the IAEA continued its efforts to gather information on the operational and fuel status of research reactors to better assist its member states. The two organizations combined their efforts to extend the breadth of participating experts and to bring a unified focus to developing one list. The meeting was open to the public; this synopsis provides the public report of the meeting discussions and the finalized list of civilian research reactors currently operating with HEU. The meeting agenda can be found at the end of the synopsis.
Drs. Borio di Tigliole (head of the IAEA’s Research Reactor Section) and Phillips (chair of the Academies committee) welcomed the participants, both noting the importance of the meeting to generate a single, authoritative list.
Joanie Dix, the IAEA host, presented information on the scope and purpose of the meeting. The meeting objectives were to present, compare,
discuss, and review publicly available data regarding international civilian facilities operating with HEU. The meeting participants were instructed to generate an agreed-upon list of civilian research reactors currently operating with HEU. Two important points were raised by participants: the list will not be a de facto list of candidates for conversion or shutdown, and it will be made publicly available.
The first day of the 3-day meeting introduced the participants, defined the criteria for a reactor to be included in the list, and allowed experts from different countries to provide briefings on the status of research reactors worldwide.1 At the conclusion of the first day, a draft list of reactors was produced based on presentations provided. Day 2 allowed participants to review the draft list at a detailed level. By applying the criteria developed the previous day, an updated draft list was produced. Day 3 included a review of the second draft list and acceptance of a final list.
Rules on the discussion of sensitive information were reviewed and agreed upon before the presentations and discussions began. Specific topics that were to be avoided, generally arising by virtue of the sensitivities surrounding HEU, were identified. It was noted that detailed discussion of reactors with a sole defense-related (or military-related) mission and details related to their use would not be discussed.2 The group also decided that percentages of enrichment and amounts of HEU at a given research reactor facility would also not be discussed.
CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION ON THE LIST
A set of criteria for a research reactor facility to be included on the list was developed following the scope and purpose presentation and evolved over the course of the 3-day meeting as the attendees applied the criteria. The decisions on criteria appearing below in Table E.1 are the final criteria agreed upon by the participants.
The list has the following columns:
|“Country”:||the country in which the research reactor facility is operated|
|“City”:||closest city to the facility operating the reactor|
1Experts from the countries with the largest number of research reactors currently using HEU fuel (France, Russia, and the United States) were in attendance, but not all countries were represented. To review worldwide research reactors not discussed by individual experts, Dr. James (Jim) Matos provided a summary. The content of his list was further verified by publicly available documents.
2 Reactors with mixed civilian and military missions were to be included in the list and are discussed further below.
TABLE E.1 Criteria for Inclusion or Exclusion from the List
|Included in the List||Excluded from the List|
|Type of research reactor facilities||
Steady state reactors
Propulsion reactors (ice breakers, naval propulsion reactors)
Tritium production reactors
|Mission of reactor||
Sole civilian use
Mixed civilian/military use (“dual use”)a
|Sole military use|
Currently operating reactors
Reactors not currently operating but with HEU fuel on site that is currently licensed
Decommissioning or decommissionedb
Not currently operating with HEU fuel on site that no longer is licensed
a See “Discussions on Complicated Issues,” below.
b By definition of a decommissioning/decommissioned facility, all fuel has been removed from the site.
|“Facility”:||name of the facility that operates the reactor, including its acronym|
|“Name”:||name of the reactor, including its acronym (if applicable)|
|“Reactor type”:||shortened for “research reactor facility type” (see Table E.1 for the list of included reactor types)|
|“Power”:||if listed as steady state, then the nominal power level (the maximum power level for which the reactor was designed to operate) is shown; the group agreed to make no entry for power level for pulsed reactors or critical and subcritical assemblies|
|“Notes”:||additional information related to an expected imminent change in status (e.g., if reactor status is expected to change within the next 2 years) or operating conditions of the reactor (e.g., reactors that are currently operating at power levels that differ from the nominal value)|
|“IAEA RRDB number”:||a unique identifier applied by the IAEA Research Reactor Database (RRDB) administrators; “N/A” was used when an IAEA RRDB number does not exist for a given facility|
It was acknowledged, based on imminent conversions and shutdowns, that the list from the 2015 consultancy meeting will be a snapshot in time and will soon be out of date. The attendees agreed that it would be useful to hold periodic consultancies (approximately every 2 years) to update the list (e.g., the IAEA has held two previous consultancies, one in 2006 and the other in 2008, to generate similar lists).
DISCUSSIONS ON COMPLICATED ISSUES
The criteria and definitions determined above were applied to all of the research reactor facilities presented by the speakers as well as additional research reactor facilities identified by other meeting participants. Several complicated topics, for which the criteria were insufficient, arose and generated repeated discussion throughout the 3-day meeting. These topics presented difficult issues for determining whether or not to include a reactor on the list. The topics and discussions included the following.
Dual-use reactors, used for both civilian and military applications, are a challenging topic because of sensitivities related to the details of military use. Therefore it was proposed that the designation of “civilian” would include both sole civilian and dual civilian and military use; participants decided to remove the “dual-use” designation to avoid the release of sensitive information. As such, the list does not include a heading that indicates civilian or dual use for each reactor.
Participants agreed that the designation of “civilian use” would be determined by experts of the country owning the reactor presenting at this meeting and would be further validated by the identification of the regulating and/or operating body and through publicly available information. However, the expert participants were not considered as officially representing member states. Therefore, the information supplied by their presentations is not considered official correspondence from the member states. These ground rules were applied consistently across the research reactor facilities of all countries.
Plutonium (Pu)-Fueled Reactors
Plutonium-fueled reactors were excluded from the final list, but participants acknowledged the proliferation risks associated with Pu-fueled reactors. Experts cited several examples including the IBR2M and IREN reactors in Russia or the JOYO and MONJU mixed oxide (MOX)-fueled reactors in Japan, but did not attempt to produce a comprehensive list.
Critical assemblies (CAs) or subcritical assemblies with sets of cores containing different fuels (including both LEU and HEU) are challenging, because the cores can be easily reconfigured. Adding to the complexity is the fact that HEU can be inserted into the critical or subcritical assembly as a test object. To determine whether a specific critical or subcritical assembly should be on the list, the participants decided to consider whether or not the licensed cores contained HEU. The group agreed that an HEU test element was not a fuel element and therefore would not be the determining factor for inclusion on the list.
As an example, Chaika and Filin are critical assemblies that are no longer operating and have no active licenses, but HEU fuel remains stored on site. Neither is included in the list, because there are no active licenses. These types of assemblies would be included in a minimization effort but excluded in a list of currently operating reactors.
Final examples are not critical assemblies but are still relevant to this topic: the Jules Horowitz Reactor (JHR) and the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) reactor. Although JHR is expected to initially use HEU fuel until a qualified high-density LEU fuel is available, it is not currently operating, and there is no HEU on site. Therefore, JHR is not on the list. Alternatively, TREAT, a U.S. research reactor, is also not operational, but HEU fuel is on site. TREAT is on the list.
SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS
Presentations and related discussions occurring throughout the 3-day meeting are summarized below. For consistency and clarity, all of the summaries follow the same format and structure: an accounting of the number and type of reactors identified for each country or countries followed by an overview of the discussions on specific research reactors associated with specific countries. The topic of the first presentation, an overview of the content of the IAEA Research Reactor Database, did not lend itself to that format.
IAEA Research Reactor Database (RRDB)—Information on HEU Research Reactors and Critical Facilities
The current IAEA RRDB contains information on more than 770 reactors worldwide. Information contained in the database has been provided to the IAEA by a number of sources. Data may have been provided by the facility operator, official agencies or organizations (e.g., the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation [Rosatom]) for facilities under their purview, public government releases, and public documents.3 Other official documents, for example, the results from this meeting, may be used to update the IAEA RRDB, if the member states agree to the changes identified.
Information contained in the database is divided into two major parts: the reactor section (publicly accessible) and the fuel section (limited access). The reactor section may be accessed by the general public; edits can only be made by someone designated by the facility (an IAEA database administrator). At the request of member states, the IAEA restricted details on fuel type and amounts (and other information) from public access. Therefore, fuel section details can only be accessed and edited by one designated Fuel Data Provider (FDP) for each member state.4 The fuel section of the database contains details on core data, fuel and inventory, storage, concerns, and fuel-cycle management planning.
Some information within the database may be out of date and potentially inaccurate. For example, some of the more than 700 reactors have a sole military mission, and as such they should not be included in the IAEA database. Several participants noted that the inclusion of these reactors is creating confusion, and therefore they should not be listed. The IAEA database administrators agreed that some information is potentially out of date, but that changes to the database could only be accepted from the sources listed above. They encourage member states to correct these inaccuracies and provide regular updates to ensure the accuracy of the IAEA RRDB.
8 (total) research reactor facilities currently using HEU fuel
6 high performance research reactors (HPRRs)
3 See, for example, the Directory of Research Reactors Worldwide, IAEA, STI/PUB/1071, 1998 or N. V. Arkhangelsky, I. T. Tretiyakov, and V. N. Fedulin, Nuclear Research Facilities in Russia, OJSC NIKIET, Moscow, 2012.
4 The IAEA RRDB administrators have access to all of the member states’ fuel section details; these details cannot be (and are not) shared with other member states.
2 research reactors
U.S. military reactors are not included in these totals
The U.S. conversion program has recently been reorganized under the new Office of Material Management and Minimization (M3). The three main activities, or pillars, of the M3 office are conversion, removal, and disposal (“disposal” replacing the “secure” pillar from the Global Threat Reduction Initiative [GTRI], the previous home of the conversion program). The Office of Conversion includes research reactor conversion and molybdenum-99 (99Mo) production.
A total of 28 U.S. civilian research reactors have been candidates for HEU to LEU conversion; 20 have converted and/or shut down. Of the 8 remaining, 6 await conversion until a new high-density LEU fuel is qualified.5 The M3 Office of Conversion is working to develop the UMo monolithic fuel needed to convert these reactors while maintaining performance. The first conversions are expected in 2025 (see Chapter 4, MITR-II [Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reactor] and NBSR [Neutron Beam Split-core Reactor]). The conversion of High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) will take the longest because of the complexity of its fuel design; its conversion is scheduled to take place in 2032.
Two additional U.S. research reactors currently using HEU fuel are the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT, Idaho National Laboratory) and General Electric Nuclear Test Reactor (GE-NTR, California). The TREAT reactor is currently not operational, but is expected to restart by 2018 with HEU fuel (a graphite-based fuel type that requires new LEU fuel to be developed). TREAT will convert after a new LEU has been developed and tested. TREAT will be used to test accident-tolerant fuels (no military applications). Until recently, conversion discussions between the conversion program and the GE-NTR reactor operators have not been able to proceed. However, after initial discussions earlier this year, GE-NTR reactor operators have expressed interest in conversion.
The M3 Office of Conversion maintains a list of research reactors worldwide that currently use HEU fuel and are under consideration for conversion. Recently, changes to the scope of M3’s conversion list have been proposed (including the removal of Russian military reactors). This meeting was expected to further help to define the scope of M3’s list.
M3’s definition of conversion was discussed. M3 considers a reactor “converted” if it meets three criteria: licensing for LEU fuel has been
5 They are Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), Advanced Test Reactor Critical Facility (ATR-C), Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reactor (MITR-II), Neutron Beam Split-core Reactor (NBSR), University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR), and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).
completed, a clear commitment by country and operators has been made, and the first LEU assembly has been inserted. The IAEA research reactor database administrators noted their definition for conversion is a full (completely converted) core of LEU fuel.
71 civilian research reactor facilities
43 HEU civilian research reactor facilities (currently using or previously used HEU fuel)
Of the 43 facilities, 24 are steady state or pulsed reactors, 18 are critical assemblies, and 1 is a subcritical assembly. Some of these reactors were originally military reactors, but their use has changed over the years to include civilian applications (per agreements on the discussion of sensitive information, the ratio of the mix between civilian and military use was not discussed). Additionally, these reactors are now considered “civilian” because they are regulated by Rostechnadzor (the civilian nuclear regulatory agency). Also, 9 of the 43 civilian research reactor facilities that previously used HEU fuel are undergoing decommissioning, and as such, the HEU fuel has been removed.
Steady State and Pulsed Reactors
A total of 24 steady state and pulsed research reactors are eligible for the list: 16 operating reactors, 7 undergoing decommissioning, and 1 under construction but beginning operations. BARS-4 and BARS-6 (pulsed reactors) were originally military reactors but are now used for civilian applications. The reactors undergoing decommissioning are listed for completeness (even though some of them are considered propulsion reactors): Argus, BR-10, 27/VM, 27/VT, TVR, Gamma, and MR.6 Of these seven reactors, the Gamma reactor was originally used as a military reactor but became a civilian facility before it was decommissioned. The Argus reactor converted to LEU fuel in 2014. The PIK reactor, the one reactor that is under construction, is currently licensed to operate and is operating at low power (100 W) but is expected to operate up to 100 MW in the future.
6 As mentioned previously in the synopsis, decommissioned reactors or reactors undergoing decommissioning should not be included in the list of operating reactors, as all fuel has been removed.
Eighteen civilian critical assemblies (CAs) are currently operating with HEU fuel: 15 operating/operational, 2 undergoing decommissioning, and 1 undergoing modernization. From this list of critical assemblies, Rosatom manages seven operational CAs and one undergoing modernization. The number of critical assemblies managed by Rosatom has significantly decreased over the past several years. Ten years ago, there were more than 10 CAs in Obnisnk; now there are only 3. Improvements to computer simulation codes have obviated the need for many of these CAs.
Some of the CAs have both LEU and HEU cores; they remain on the list because they are currently licensed for HEU use (e.g., ST-659 and ST-1125, and see “Discussions on Complicated Topics”). Additionally, ST-659 and ST-1125 were used in development of military reactors. They are now managed by Rosatom and are used for civilian applications including investigations of fuel for pressurized water reactors (PWRs) and testing of KLT-40 reactors (civilian icebreaker reactors).
Ten operational civilian CAs (with two undergoing decommissioning) are not managed by Rosatom. Of these, SF-1 and SF-7 were developed for propulsion systems but were later used for civilian purposes. Aksamit was also originally a military reactor but is now used for civilian applications. Aksamit uses the RP-50 assembly (which is an HEU assembly).
Highlights from further discussions on specific Russian reactors included the following:
- The licensing of the facility defines the assemblies and cores that may be used. For example, RP-50 is not licensed separately, but it is included in Aksamit’s license. If Aksamit is not licensed, then RP-50 cannot be used. Similarly, the license for Filin research reactor facility in Belarus would include its associated assemblies (Chaika, for example).
- Joint Stock Company State Scientific Center—Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (JSC “SSC RIAR’s”) RBT-6 and -10/2 should be counted as two additional facilities separate from SM-3 (even though both use irradiated fuel from SM-3), because they are licensed separately.
- Propulsion reactors can have a variety of missions, including naval prototype testing, space propulsion, training, research facilities used to test fuel, and different categories of propulsion-related research. The last item is relevant to the list. For example, NARCISS-M2 performs research on space propulsion and appears on the list.
France has constructed a total of 38 civilian research reactor facilities of which:
16 were constructed initially using LEU fuel
22 were constructed initially using HEU fuel
Of the 16 civilian facilities that started up with LEU fuel, 14 have shut down and 2 remain (Eole and Masurca), and one uses HEU fuel (Masurca). Of the 22 civilian facilities initially using HEU fuel, 16 have shut down, 3 have converted to LEU fuel, and 3 remain operational with HEU fuel (Orphée, Minerve, and Neutronographie Phénix). Not included in this accounting is the Réacteur à Haut Flux/Institut Laue-Langevin (RHF/ILL) in Grenoble that uses HEU fuel. In total, five civilian research reactor facilities are currently operating with HEU fuel in France.
Highlights from further discussions on specific French reactors included the following:
- Masurca and Eole are critical assemblies. Masurca uses an HEU core. The Eole critical assembly generated a discussion on the availability and type of cores used for experiments. Eole currently uses an LEU core, and French experts attending the meeting have asked that Eole be removed from the list. However, it remains unclear whether a licensed HEU core remains on site.
- One reactor (the Jules Horowitz Reactor under construction) is expected to begin operations in 2020 with HEU fuel (enriched to 27 percent), but it will convert when a high-density LEU fuel becomes qualified. Because JHR is not yet operational and there is no fuel on site, it was not included in the list. Participants asked whether JHR operators would consider using a high-density LEU silicide fuel. The option would have to be thoroughly investigated, because a 10 percent loss in performance was estimated if this path were followed.
- Several participants had questions about the ZEPHYR reactor, which is in an early design stage and does not yet exist.
The high-density LEU uranium molybdenum (UMo) dispersion fuel was also discussed. The LEU fuel development program has cost approximately €160 million in Europe, and it is estimated that it will cost several tens of millions more to qualify the fuel. There is some concern about the future price of the high-density LEU fuel, because it is not expected to be equiva-
lent to or cheaper than the HEU fuel. In 15 years, when the fuel is likely to be qualified, several existing reactors may be closed, which makes the economic argument for new fuel fabrication increasingly difficult. Another participant noted that the U.S. perspective on the economics of LEU fuel development and commercialization (the United States is pursuing UMo monolithic LEU fuel) is that it is not a business venture but for the public good to be paid for by the government.7
No operating civilian research reactors are currently using HEU fuel in the United Kingdom (U.K.).
The last civilian HEU research reactor facility, CONSORT, was shut down in 2012, its fuel was removed and transported to Sellafield in 2014, and decommissioning is expected to be completed in 2021.
The U.K. remains a strong supporter of nonproliferation efforts to convert research reactors and remove HEU fuel by providing international assistance through its Global Threat Reduction Program (GTRP). Recent projects with other nations include the Ukraine (linear accelerator project) and Uzbekistan (Institute of Nuclear Physics VVR-SM research reactor and defueling of Joint Stock Company Foton’s IIN-3M research reactor).
A total of 24 civilian research reactors using HEU fuel exist outside of the United States, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. After conclusion of the meeting, two reactors were declared as being shut down with HEU fuel removed (the Safe Low-Power Kritical Experiment [SLOWPOKE] reactor in Jamaica and the reactor in Basel, Switzerland). The current total numbers of civilian research reactors operating in each continent are:
8 Dr. Matos, an internationally recognized expert on conversion of reactors and the status of currently operating facilities, was invited to provide a summary of the remaining civilian research reactors still operating with HEU fuel throughout the world.
16 are in Asia (including the Middle and Far East)
1 is in North America, excluding the United States
5 are in Europe, excluding France
2 are in Africa
Highlights from further discussions on specific Asian reactors included the following:
- Within Asia, four research reactors are operating in the Middle East: one each in Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Israel. The Israeli research reactor (IRR-1) is expected to be shut down; a new facility is planned to take over the functions of IRR-1. The other three reactors are Chinese-supplied Miniature Neutron Source Reactors (MNSRs).
- Twelve research reactors are in the Far East. China operates four reactors using HEU fuel; two of the four are MNSRs, of which one is scheduled to convert in 2015.9 The China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR)10 is considered a prototype fast power reactor. Although it is connected to grid, it is considered a research reactor using HEU. The Zero Power Fast (ZPR Fast) reactor at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE) is a fast critical assembly.11
- Japan operates four research reactors using HEU fuel.12 Japan’s Tokai plans to use an accelerator-driven source using LEU fuel to burn fuels with high-actinide content. The current plan is for the fast critical assembly facility at Tokai to ship its HEU fuel to the United States and to construct a critical facility for the accelerator-driven system (ADS) using LEU fuel. The Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA) facility generated a long discussion. The facility operates a total of three separate reactors with two cores (one wet, the other dry). Because there is fuel for only two reactors (the two dry-core reactors share the same fuel), it was agreed that the list would show two reactors: the KUCA Wet Core13 and the KUCA Dry Core. The participants justified separating the facilities
9 See the following links for more information: https://www.iaea.org/OurWork/ST/NE/NEFW/Technical-Areas/RRS/mnsr.html and http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/P1575_CD_web/datasets/abstracts/E3RoglansRibas.html.
11 Feng Shen, The Present Status and Future Potential Applications of RRs in CIAE, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on the Frontiers of Plasma Physics and Technology, IAEA TECDOC (CD-ROM) 1713, Singapore, April 18–22, 2011.
13Wet core means water moderated.
because conversion of these reactors could potentially take place separately. It was noted that the IAEA and Japan count KUCA as one facility.14
- Kazakhstan has three reactors using HEU fuel: IGR and IVG-1M in Kurchatov and WWR-K at Almaty. The IGR reactor is a graphite-fuel-based reactor (similar to TREAT in the United States).15 At the time of the meeting, the WWR-K reactor had recently defueled in preparation for conversion to LEU fuel.16
- Two North Korean (DPRK) research reactors generated a short discussion on their origin; both appear on the list despite significant uncertainties.17 The DPRK’s steady state reactor (DPRK-IRT) uses fuel similar to Libya’s reactor, which has converted to LEU fuel. The status of the critical assembly (DPRK-IRT CA) is not known; it was decided to keep this reactor on the list until it can be confirmed as decommissioned or converted. The DPRK-IRT CA may be DPRK designed. It is currently not clear whether it is using HEU or LEU fuel. Although it is known that this facility existed previously, it is also not clear whether it still exists.
Highlights from further discussions on specific North American research reactors, excluding those in the United States, included the following:
- In North America, two operating research reactors currently use HEU fuel in Canada. Canada is seeking funding to complete its conversions. The SLOWPOKE research reactor in Jamaica recently converted with assistance from the M3 Office of Conversion.18
Highlights from further discussions on specific European research reactors, excluding those located in France, included the following:
14 H. Unesaki, T. Misawa, T. Sano, K. Nakajima, and J. Roglans-Ribas, On the Feasibility Study for Utilization of Low Enriched Uranium Fuel at Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA), Proceedings of the 33rd International Meeting on Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR 2012), Santiago, Chile, October 23–27, 2011.
16 Y. Goncharov, A. Enin, I. Zaporozhets, P. Chakrov, S. Gizatulin, F. Arinkin, and Y. Cherepnin, Low Enriched Uranium Fuel for VVR-K Reactor, Proceedings of the 2013 European Research Reactor Conference (RRFM 2013), St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, April 21–25, 2013.
17 See also the following links: http://www.nti.org/facilities/767/ or http://cns.miis.edu/archive/country_north_korea/nuc/chr4789.htm.
18 Shortly after the IAEA–Academies meeting, the NNSA announced the conversion and removal of the SLOWPOKE reactor and that the Caribbean was HEU-free. See http://nnsa.energy.gov/mediaroom/pressreleases/nnsa-removes-u.s.-origin-heu-jamaica-makes-caribbean-heu-free.
- Within Europe, there are six research reactors: two in Belarus, two in Belgium, and one each in Germany and Italy (a research reactor in Switzerland recently shut down and its HEU fuel has been removed19).
- A participant asked about the fuel from the Kristal facility in Belarus. The Kristal reactor has been shut down, but the fuel remains in Belarus. There is technical “buy-in” from the Belarussians for HEU removal, but progress toward fuel removal remains stalled because of political issues.
- The VENUS reactor is one of the two reactors in Belgium currently operating with HEU fuel. The VENUS reactor uses HEU fuel on loan from Masurca in France. The Belgians plan to return the HEU fuel to France upon completion of the VENUS experiments (expected in 2022 or 2023). Belgian Reactor II (BR2), a high performance research reactor, is the other Belgium reactor currently using HEU fuel.
- The researchers at the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-II (FRM-II) reactor in Germany are studying ways to reduce the fuel enrichment percentages while maintaining reactor performance.20 The TAPIRO reactor in Italy is difficult to convert to LEU (conversion feasibility is being studied at Argonne National Laboratory),21 because the core is composed of a small stack of UMo disks. The core and size (approximately the size of a small water pitcher) make conversion difficult, because current available options would increase the size of the core by a factor of five to six times, which would require a facility redesign. In addition, the spectrum of neutrons is important to maintain in order to meet its mission.
- Finally, the two research reactors in Africa are Chinese-designed MNSRs and are located in Ghana and Nigeria.22
21 J. Roglans, GTRI Reactor Conversion Program Scope and Status, presented at the Academies Committee Meeting, October 23, 2014, Washington, DC, USA.
22 A short discussion on the feasibility of conversion of many of the reactors is not included, because it is out of scope of the consultancy.
LIST OF CIVILIAN RESEARCH REACTORS CURRENTLY USING HEU FUEL
Based on the criteria established by the meeting participants as noted above, a list of 72 civilian research reactor facilities currently operating with HEU fuel is provided in Table E.2.
TABLE E.2 Civilian Reactor Facilities Operating on HEU Fuel, Alphabetical by Country
|5||Canada||Alberta||University of Alberta||SLOWPOKE AB|
|6||Canada||Saskatoon||Saskatchewan Research Council||SLOWPOKE SK|
|10||China||Beijing||CIAE||Zero Power Fast|
|11||DPRK||Yongbyon||Nuclear Research Institute Yongbyon||IRT-DPRK|
|12||DPRK||Yongbyon||Nuclear Research||IRT-DPRK CA|
|15||France||Marcoule||CEA Marcoule||Neutronographie Phénix|
|19||Ghana||Accra||National Nuclear Research Institute Accra||GHARR-1 (MNSR)|
|20||Iran||Esfahan||Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center||ENTC (MNSR)|
|21||Israel||Yavne||Soreq Nuclear Research Center||IRR-1|
|Nominal P, kW||Reactor Type||Notes||IAEA #|
|100,000||Steady State||Typically operated at 50,000-70,000 kW||BE-0002|
|Fast Critical Assembly||Material on loan from Masurca||BE-0006|
|20||Steady State||Expected to shut down (applied for shutdown license)||CA-0011|
|65,000||Prototype Fast Power Reactor||CN-0018|
|27||Steady State||To be converted to LEU by end of 2015||CN-0006|
|Fast Critical Assembly||CN-0003|
|Critical Assembly||Status and fuel type unknown||N/A|
|Fast Critical Assembly||FR-0016|
|Critical Assembly||Expected to shut down in 2019||FR-0003|
|Critical Assembly||Expected to shut down in 2015||N/A|
|14,000||Steady State||Expected to shut down in 2019||FR-0022|
|27||Steady State||Conversion to LEU expected in 2016||GH-0001|
|Fast Critical Assembly||JP-0014|
|24||Japan||Osaka||KURRI||KUCA (Dry Cores)|
|25||Japan||Osaka||KURRI||KUCA (Wet Core)|
|26||Japan||Osaka||AERI Kinki University||UTR Kinki|
|30||Nigeria||Zaria||Ahmadu Bello University (CERT)||NIRR-1 (MNSR)|
|42||Russia||Gatchina||NRC KI||FM PIK|
|Nominal P, kW||Reactor Type||Notes||IAEA #|
|Critical Assembly||1 facility with 3 reactors and|
|Critical Assembly||2 sets of fuel (one for wet core, one for dry cores)||JP-0018|
|72,000||Steady State||Sometimes listed as EWG-1||KZ-0003|
|6,000||Steady State||Conversion to LEU expected in 2016 (LEU fuel is on site). Sometimes listed as VVR-K.||KZ-0001|
|Critical Assembly||RP-50 is part of AKSAMIT||RU-0026|
|Pulsed Reactor||OKUYAN is part of BARS-6||RU-0040|
|Fast Critical Assembly||RU-0063|
|Fast Critical Assembly||RU-0064|
|60,000||Fast Reactor||Expected to shut down in 2020||RU-0027|
|Pulsed reactor||Sometimes listed as HYDRA||RU-0017|
|Critical Assembly||Being refurbished||N/A|
|Critical Assembly||Research on special reactors||RU-0053|
|100,000||Steady State||Typically operated at 30,000-60,000 kW||RU-0013|
|64||Syria||Damascus||Dar al-Hajar Nuclear Research Center||SRR-1 (MNSR)|
|65||United States||Idaho Falls, ID||INL||ATR|
|66||United States||Idaho Falls, ID||INL||ATR-C|
|67||United States||Pleasanton, CA||GE Vallecitos||GE-NTR|
|68||United States||Oak Ridge, TN||ORNL||HFIR|
|69||United States||Cambridge, MA||MIT||MITR-II|
|70||United States||Columbia, MO||University of Missouri||MURR|
|71||United States||Gaithersburg, MD||NIST||NBSR|
|72||United States||Idaho Falls, ID||INL||TREAT|
SOURCE: See text in Appendix E.
LIST OF ACRONYMS FOR TABLE E.2
|AERI||Atomic Energy Research Institute|
|CEA||Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives|
|CEFR||China Experimental Fast Reactor|
|CERT||Centre for Energy Research and Training|
|CIAE||China Institute of Atomic Energy|
|DPRK||Democratic People’s Republic of Korea|
|ENEA||Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development|
|FCA||Fast critical assembly|
|Nominal P, kW||Reactor Type||Notes||IAEA #|
|Critical Assembly||Research on space propulsion||RU-0081|
|100,000||Steady State||Being commissioned,||RU-0016|
|Designed for 100MW,|
|Currently licensed for 100 W|
|10,000||Steady State||Uses spent fuel from SM-3||RU-0021|
|6,000||Steady State||Uses spent fuel from SM-3||RU-0022|
|100,000||Steady State||Typically operated at 90,000 kW||RU-0024|
|18,000||Steady State||Also called VVR-M||RU-0008|
|15,000||Steady State||Also called VVR-Ts||RU-0019|
|250,000||Steady State||Typically operated at 110,000-160,00 kW||US-0070|
|100,000||Steady State||Operation currently limited to 85,000 kW||US-0137|
|Pulsed Reactor||Expected to restart by 2018||US-0018|
|ICENS||International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences|
|IGR||[name of a reactor]|
|ILL||Institut Laue-Langevin (Grenoble)|
|INL||Idaho National Laboratory|
|INP||Institute of Nuclear Physics|
|IPPE||Institute of Physics and Power Engineering|
|IRM||Institute of Reactor Materials|
|IRT||In-Reactor Thimble (Fast Test Reactor)|
|ITEP||Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics|
|IVG.1M||[name of a reactor]|
|JAEA||Japan Atomic Energy Agency|
|KURRI||Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute|
|MEPhI||Moscow Engineering Physics Institute|
|MIT||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|MNSR-IAE||Miniature Neutron Source Reactor–Institute of Atomic Energy|
|MNSR-SZ||Miniature Neutron Source Reactor–Shenzhen University|
|NIIP||Scientific Research Institute for Instruments|
|NIRR||Nigeria Research Reactor|
|NIST||National Institute of Standards and Technology|
|NNC-IAE||National Nuclear Center–Institute of Atomic Energy|
|NRC KI||National Research Centre “Kurchatov Institute”|
|OKBM||[full name: “I.I. Afrikantov OKB Mechanical Engineering”]|
|ORNL||Oak Ridge National Laboratory|
|PARR||Pakistan Atomic Research Reactor|
|PINSTECH||Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology|
|RHF||Réacteur à Haut Flux (Grenoble)|
|RIAR||Research Institute of Atomic Reactors|
|SCK·CEN||Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie·Centre d’Etudes Nucléaire|
|TPU||Tomsk Polytechnic University|
|TUM||Technische Universität München|
|UTR-KINKI||Kinki University Reactor|
|UWI||University of West Indies|
|WWR-K||[name of a reactor]|
Meeting on “Updating and Optimizing a List of Civilian Research and Test Reactors That Operate Using HEU Fuel”
27–29 July, 2015
Vienna International Center (VIC), Meeting Room MOE100
Monday, 27 July
|08:30 – 09:00||Arrival at VIC|
|09:00 – 09:20||Opening|
|09:20 – 09:25||Introduction of Participants|
|09:25 – 09:45||Discussion and Ground Rules for Handling of Sensitive Information|
|09:45 – 10:30||Purpose & Scope of Meeting Presentation by National Academies and IAEA|
|10:30 – 11:45
“IAEA Research Reactor Data Base (RRDB) Information on HEU Research Reactors and Critical Facilities” (30 minutes + 5 minutes of discussion)
|United States||“Status of U.S. HEU Facilities and DOE/NNSA Conversion Activities” (30 minutes + 5 minutes of discussion)|
|11:45 – 13:00||Lunch|
|13:00 – 14:30||Presentations:|
|Russia||“Status of Russian HEU Facilities” (1 hour including discussion)|
|France||“Status of French HEU Facilities” (30 minutes)|
|14:30 – 15:00||Coffee Break|
|15:00 – 15:45||Presentations:|
|United Kingdom:||“Status of UK HEU Facilities” (15 minutes)|
|Other countries:||“Civilian Reactor Facilities That Operate Using HEU Fuel” (30 minutes)|
|15:45 – 16:00||Summary and Adjourn|
Tuesday, 28 July
|09:00 – 12:00||
General Discussion on Combining the Lists and Identifying Discrepancies (discussion guided by location)
For each location, discussions will start with research reactors and then move to additional civilian HEU facilities (critical assemblies, subcritical assemblies, etc.). There will be a package and presentation to guide discussion.
|12:00 – 13:15||Lunch|
|13:15 – 14:45||Resolve Disputed HEU Facilities|
|14:45 – 15:15||Coffee Break|
|15:15 – 17:30||Revise/Draft Final List|
Wednesday, 29 July
|09:00 – 10:30||Final Review of List and Discussion on Any Remaining Items|
|10:30 – 12:00||Next Steps and Closure of the Meeting|
|Last Name||First Name|
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