19 June 2020
The members of the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Argonne National Laboratory (USA) discussed technical issues of ongoing project for IVG.1M conversion during a video conference.
The study results of two irradiated low-enriched uranium water-cooled channels (LEU-WCTC) were considered, the current issues of preparation for the physical start-up phase of the reactor were discussed, and the decisions on further work plans were adopted.
For reference. In 2014, FSUE "SRI SIA "Luch" (Russia) delivered two pilot LEU-WCTC technological channels to the National Nuclear Center of RK. The pilot LEU-WCTC were loaded into the core cells of IVG.1M reactor for durability tests. The purpose of the tests is to check the operability of two LEU-WCTC as a part of the existing core, to determine the channels' compliance with technical requirements and to obtain data necessary for making a decision on manufacturing a batch of LEU-WCTC channels to complete IVG.1M reactor core.
As a result of tests of two pilot LEU-WCTC, the correspondence of their characteristics to the design value was confirmed and their operability was demonstrated.
The completed so far post-reactor material science studies will finally determine the possibility of using experimental fuel for the task implementation on IVG.1M reactor conversion to low enriched fuel. This gives grounds for planning in 2021 of core loading with thirty fresh LEU WCTC and carrying out the stage of physical start-up, in case of successful implementation of which, the energy start-up of IVG.1M reactor with LEU fuel will be possible already in 2023.