Use of Research Reactors and Nuclear Science Centres Discussed at Atomexpo-2017
29 June 2017 | Rusatom Overseas Press Service

On June 20, in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), the workshop Commercial and Non-Commercial Applications of Research Reactors and Centres took place, with Rusatom Overseas as one of its organizers. The workshop was a part of the ninth session of the Atomexpo-2017 International Forum.
At the workshop, experts fr om more than 20 countries discussed the challenges of building and operating a CNST and possible commercial applications of such centres. 

According to Danas Ridikas, a Research Reactor Specialist at IAEA, cooperating with the stakeholders in laying out a nuclear research centre’s main fields of operation and devising a strategic development plan are the two things that matter most when making a centre efficient. Danas Ridikas compared building a research centre to building a house, wh ere the public demand and the national budget capacity are like the foundation.

Kelvin Kemm, CEO of South African NECSA Company, told public acceptance was vital when developing research reactor projects. ‘Do your best to persuade your country’s population that nuclear energy solves quite a few problems’, he said. The expert also spoke about the importance of nuclear energy development projects giving SAR as an example and confirmed research reactors did have commercial applications. ‘Nationwise, such projects are important to create the technological and scientific solutions necessary to further develop regulatory procedures and generate revenue’, Mr Kemm stressed.  

Dmitry Kamanin, Head of International Cooperation Department at the JINR, presented the JINR as an example of a global nuclear research centre. He spoke of the Institute’s more than fifty years of history, the projects implemented by it and its cooperation with other leading international Institutes. ‘Behind the Institute are solid scholarly traditions and unique research capabilities. The Institute collaborates with more than 800 academic centres in 64 countries around the globe. The Institute has a massive experience of international cooperation in science and technology. Every year, more than 2 500 scientists come to Dubna from the JINR’s partner organizations’, Mr Kamanin told. He said that such centres grow around MEGA-projects, i. e. complicated and expensive research plants.

The workshop participants agreed that the JINR illustrated well the possibility of implementing global nuclear research centres and that such centres were important, specifically as platforms for international exchange. ‘Deploying research reactors is an integral component of Rosatom’s Integrated Offer for construction and operation of Centres for Nuclear Science and Technology; these may have commercial and non-commercial applications’, said Dmitry Vysotsky, Head of Research Reactor Group at Rusatom Overseas. ‘Some countries cannot single-handedly implement a full-scale centre to meet all public demands. Thus, we help deploy centres for nuclear science and technology that may become of regional importance and boost neighbouring countries’ scientific and commercial capacity. This is a fine example of international technological exchange’, Mr Vysotsky stressed.

Experts from Egypt, Zambia, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Sudan and other countries agreed that the world population needed solutions for pressing issues in education, healthcare, industry and agriculture. The workshop participants unanimously concluded that centres for nuclear science and technology helped solve such issues. Besides, this is the first step towards nuclear energy development in novice countries.


The ninth session of the Atomexpo-2017 International Forum was attended by 6.5 thousand participants from 65 countries, including the Russian Federation and the four countries that took part in the Forum for the first time: Columbia, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia. Thirty three official government delegations attended the Forum along with representatives of a hundred companies working in the atomic sector and the related industries. The Forum’s business programme included thirteen topical workshops. This year, the Forum’s principal topic was Nuclear technology — safety, ecology, stability.


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