Korean research reactor resumes operation

12 December 2017

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (Kaeri) has restarted the 30 MWt High-flux Advanced Neutron Application Reactor (Hanaro), which has been offline for the past three-and-a-half years. During this period, the reactor has undergone safety upgrades.

Hanaro research reactor - 460 (Kaeri)
The Hanaro research reactor (Image: Kaeri)

The Hanaro reactor was taken offline in July 2014 so that work to seismically reinforce its reactor building could be carried out. Safety inspections of the facility in response to the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have also been conducted.

Having carried out pre-operational checks of Hanaro, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission gave its approval on 30 November for the reactor to be restarted. Kaeri and the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety made the final decision to resume operation of the reactor on 5 December.

Kaeri said, "The restart of Hanaro will allow Kaeri to once again actively engage in radioisotope production and neutron utilisation for basic R&D activities and industry requirements. The resumed radioisotope production will contribute to meeting the needs of hospitals and industry, as well as to medical welfare through its uses in childhood cancer medicine and non-destructive inspections."

The Korean-built Hanaro reactor, initially based on Canadian technology, began operating in 1995.

A consortium led by Kaeri with Daewoo constructed the Jordan Research and Training Reactor (JRTR) at the Jordan University for Science and Technology. Construction of the reactor began in 2010 and it was declared completed in December 2016. The 5 MWt JRTR reactor is based on a version of Korea's 30 MWt Hanaro design. As well as being Jordan's first nuclear reactor, JRTR is the first reactor exported by Korea.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News