Chinese research reactor starts up

18 May 2010

A new Chinese-designed and built research reactor has reached first criticality at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE)'s Fangshan, Beijing site. 

CARR pool hall
The pool hall at CARR (Image: CIAE)


The 60 MWt China Advanced Research Reactor (CARR) went critical on 13 May. The sophisticated light-water tank type unit with a heavy water reflector is described by CIAE 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 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.

A 65 MWt sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor, the Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR), is also under construction at the CIAE's Beijing site and is thought to be close to starting up. The CEFR is being built by Russia's OKBM Afrikantov in collaboration with OKB Gidropress, NIKIET and the Kurchatov Institute.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News