Russia invites India to join fast reactor research project

indo-russia fast reactor research projectAn official of Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom said the country has invited India to join in developing nuclear reactors and participate in its fast reactor research project. The multipurpose fast research reactor project, also known as MBIR, is coming up at the International Research Center in Dimitrovgrad, located in the Ulyanovsk region.

“The purpose of the programme is the creation of a new technological platform for nuclear energy, which will be based on the closed fuel cycle with fast neutron reactors,” said Rosatom project manager, Alexander Zagornov, who is visiting India for the opening of the company’s south Asia regional centre.

A fast neutron reactor, also known simply as a fast reactor, is a type in which nuclear fission chain reaction is sustained by fast neutrons. Such a reactor needs no neutron moderator.

“With fast-neutron reactors, it is possible to solve the major ecological problem of reprocessing and deactivation of the accumulated radioactive waste, at the same time providing society with much needed energy,” Mr. Zagornov said.

“The trend of the fast research reactors development shows that by 2025 MBIR can be one-of-a-kind facility in the world,” he added. Mr. Zagornov said that the unique research facility with the high neutron flux cannot be realized on the small scale or as a modular facility.

“Therefore, high cost is inevitable. This fact brings us to the idea promoted by IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) of regional ‘collective use centers’, in which one reactor can be used by multiple international users,” he said.

“And we invite Indian partners to participate in such collective centre of excellence like the International Research Center.” Russia has offered India a new range of reactor units — the VVER-Toi (typical optimised, enhanced information) design — for the third and fourth units of the Kudankulam project that being built by Rosatom.

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