The Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad has completed decommissioning of the research reactor RBT-10/1.

Russian regulator Rostechnadzor last month removed the reactor from the list of supervised nuclear facilities, NIIAR said on 1 September.

RBT-10/1, which started operations in 1983, was developed for experiments to study properties of materials under irradiation as well as to produce radionuclide sources or materials with required properties, NIIAR said.

RBT-10/1 was idled in 1994 and declared shut down in 2005. Decommissioning work included removal of used nuclear fuel as well as disassembly of the reactor core, conversion facilities and experimental devices for use in another research reactor at the site, the RBT-10/2.

The use of equipment from the decommissioned RBT-10/1 reactor enabled an increase in the power capacity of the RBT-10/2 reactor from 7 MWe to 10 MWe, NIIAR said.

This in turn enabled a 30% increase in the production of medical isotopes, such as iodine-131 and molybdenum-99, and nuclear-grade silicon alloys, it said.

Rostechnadzor said last month it had established an integrated working group to supervise construction of a multi-functional radiochemical research centre at NIIAR.

NIIAR was founded in 1956 to host both research and experimental reactors, NIIAR is said to be the biggest nuclear research centre in Russia. It researches fuel cycle, radiochemicals and radioactive waste management, as well as producing radionuclides for medicine and industry. It hosts the main R&D on electrometallurgical pyroprocessing, especially for fast reactors, and associated vibropacked fuel technology for these.

Source: World Nuclear News