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The high flux research reactor at Petten in the Netherlands. Courtesy NRG. US-based Terrestrial Energy and the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) have started a graphite irradiation testing programme for the Integral Molten Salt Reactor power plant at NRG’s high flux research reactor (HFR) at Petten in the Netherlands.

The work is part of broader programme of testing of components and systems for the IMSR plant, which uses Generation IV reactor technology for electric power generation and heat for industrial heat applications.

The testing programme at the HFR, one of the most powerful multi-purpose research and test reactors in the world, is designed to confirm the predicted performance of selected graphite grades throughout the seven-year cycle of the IMSR core-unit.

The testing will simulate IMSR core conditions, encompassing the full range of IMSR operating temperatures and of the neutron flux. NRG said the HFR has reached full power indicating the successful start of the test programme.

Date: Saturday, 14 November 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/terrestrial-energy-and-nrg-begin-graphite-irradiation-testing-at-petten-11-5-2020

Of the 220 research reactors in operation today, only seven are on the African continent. In other words, with 17.2% of the world population and the strongest expected growth in the coming years, Africans have access to only 3% of the world's nuclear research reactor capacity. Marguerite Leonardi, senior advisor at NPC Consulting & Engineering, and Professor Vincent Lukanda Mwamba, Commissaire Général of the Commissariat Général à l’Energie Atomique, explain why that is a concern and why the research reactor in Kinshasa should be restarted urgently.

Date: Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Why-research-reactors-are-so-important-f

The installation of the pumps for the primary cooling circuit of Argentina's RA-10 multipurpose reactor has been completed, the country's National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) has announced. This marks completion of the assembly of the reactor's large components.

Date: Saturday, 10 October 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Large-components-in-place-for-Argentinean-research

The LVR-15 research reactor in the Czech Republic. Photo courtesy CVR. An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team said the operator of the 10 MW LVR-15 research reactor in the Czech Republic has continued to improve safety since a previous review in 2003, implementing significant refurbishments to modernise the reactor’s systems and components.

The Integrated Safety Assessment for Research Reactors (INSARR) team also found areas for safety improvements, such as in organisational aspects and in operational safety programmes.

The team called for strengthening the organisational structure for operation by clarifying staff roles and responsibilities to avoid potential conflicts of duties and authorities.

It said the reactor’s ageing management programme should be broadened to include experimental devices, irradiation facilities, radiation monitoring systems and the reactor’s civil structures.

Date: Thursday, 27 August 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/iaea-says-safety-has-continued-to-improve-at-research-reactor-8-3-2020

Řež (CVR), the operator of the LVR-15 research reactor in the Czech Republic, has continued to improve safety since a previous review in 2003, implementing significant refurbishments to modernise the reactor's systems and components, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts. The team also found areas for further safety enhancements, including in organisation and operational safety programmes.

Date: Thursday, 27 August 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-sees-safety-improvements-at-Czech-research-re

Researchers at Belgium's Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN) have for the first time succeeded in accelerating a proton beam through the recently connected radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ). The RFQ is a component of the particle accelerator that will drive the Myrrha sub-critical research reactor.

Date: Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Myrrha-protons-accelerated-successfully

Russia’s BP Konstantinova Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics has announced a tender for the development of a core design for the PIK research reactor in Gatchina, RosTender.info reported on 7 July.

Date: Friday, 10 July 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newstender-announced-to-provide-fuel-for-russias-pik-reactor-8018410

France’s Framatome and the Technical University of Munich have begun the commercial development of uranium-molybdenum fuel (UMo) for  research reactors.

Date: Friday, 08 May 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsfrance-and-germany-begin-development-of-uranium-molybdenum-fuel-7911886

Pilot facility to be set up at new Framatome laboratory in France The FRM II research neutron source at TUM in Garching, north of Munich. Photo courtesy TUM. An agreement between the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and French fuel element manufacturer Framatome could lead to a joint pilot project to manufacture a monolithic uranium molybdenum alloy (UMo) fuel that could be in production by 2022.

TUM said the contract, announced by Framatome earlier this week, includes the development of a pilot production line and the production of fuel plates for radiation tests. These tests are a central part of the qualification of the new fuel, especially for research reactors in Europe, TUM said.

The pilot production facility will be set up at Framatome’s new research and development laboratory, in Romans-sur-Isère in southeastern France.

TUM said the first prototype fuel elements are expected to be manufactured in early 2021. If the tests are successful, production could start as early as 2022.

Date: Friday, 08 May 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/agreement-could-lead-to-production-in-2022-says-tum-5-4-2020