MBIR gets its reactor vessel

20 January 2023

The reactor vessel for the MBIR multipurpose sodium-cooled fast neutron research reactor under construction in Dmitrovgrad in Russia was set in place on 18 January, Rosatom announced.

The reactor vessel is lowered into position (Image: Rosatom)

Placement of the 83 ton component was the last major installation that requires the building to have an open top. After this, the construction of the reactor building dome can begin, as can numerous installations inside.

Rosatom said the project continues to run ahead of schedule. With this reactor vessel installed eight months early, the facility remains on track to begin operation in 2027 a year ahead of its original schedule.

Gennady Sakharov, Rosatom's director for capital investments, state construction and state expertise said, "Among the key events of 2022, we can highlight the concreting of the reactor shaft, construction work on the construction of a drainage pumping station, and the completion of the foundation of the turbine unit."

Sakharov said all this work had been finished ahead of schedule "thanks to the modern digital tools used at the construction site" including building information modelling technologies, the Rosatom system of integrated cost management, and remote monitoring tools using digital and unmanned technologies, as well as a consortium model of building management. Around 1400 workers are on site.

MBIR will be the most powerful research reactor in the world, at 150 MWt. It will be able to test various combinations of fuels and coolant for the development of advanced reactors, starting with mixed oxide fuel and sodium coolant.

The facility's development has also spurred a RUB290 million (USD4.2 million) investment in Dmitrovgrad to create a residential quarter for scientists and engineers that should be ready in 2024.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News