Chinese research reactor sets operational record

14 August 2018

The China Advanced Research Reactor (CARR) has been operated continuously at high-power for 14 days, setting a new operational record for the 60 MWt light-water tank-in-pool type unit. During this period, the research reactor completed its first batch of irradiation tasks.

The China Advanced Research Reactor (Image: CIAE)

The CARR reactor was operated stably at a power level of 30 MW between 25 July and 7 August, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced yesterday.

The reactor - at the China Institute of Atomic Energy's (CIAE's) site in the Fangshan district of Beijing - is a sophisticated light-water tank type unit with a heavy water reflector. CIAE - a unit of CNNC - describes CARR as one of the most advanced of its type, both in Asia and throughout the world. In the course of designing and constructing the reactor, CIAE has been involved in developing, amongst other things, fuel elements, reactor components such as the reactor vessel, control rod drive mechanisms, digital control systems and other applications. The project boasts an equipment localisation rate of 90%.

The CARR project was formally approved by the government in July 1997. Construction of the reactor began in August 2002. CARR achieved first criticality on 13 May 2010 and reached full power for 72 hours on 13 March 2012.

According to the website of the Chinese Neutron Scattering Society, CARR is waiting for official permission to start regular operation. The reactor is expected to be operated for 12 cycles per year, each cycle lasting 10-20 days.

The multifunctional reactor will be used for research in fields such as nuclear physics and chemistry, neutron scattering experiments, testing of reactor materials and nuclear fuels, neutron activation analysis, and for the production of radioactive isotopes and neutron-doped silicon.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News