Ukraine unveils new nuclear research facility

08 December 2014

Ukraine's Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology has completed the construction of a nuclear research facility called Neutron Source that will be used to treat cancer.

Kharkov Neutron Source - 460
Neutron Source research reactor (Image: Kharkov regional administration)

The Kharkov regional administration said in a statement on 6 December that the project has been implemented in the framework of agreements with the USA to provide technical and financial assistance to Ukraine signed in Washington in April 2010. The USA's financial contribution to the project amounted to more than $70 million.

The facility includes a subcritical assembly, neutron-production target, an electron linear accelerator, a cold neutron source and experimental neutron channels for nuclear physics research.

The reactor is to start operations in March 2015 and will be used for research and the production of isotopes for medical and industrial use.

Unveiling of the facility was attended by Rose Gottemoeller, the USA's undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, Jeffrey Payette, US Ambassador to Ukraine, Sergey Kislitsa, Ukraine's deputy minister of foreign affairs, among others.

The facility is expected to provide Ukraine with new research opportunities and the ability to produce isotopes, primarily for medical use, namely, the diagnosis and treatment of various forms of cancer, the Kharkov regional administration said.

Gottemoeller said Neutron Source was "a great success in the struggle for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons."

"Ukraine has decided to export highly-enriched uranium from its territory to ensure that such material does not fall into the hands of terrorists. The USA, in turn, has pledged to help remove highly-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium in Ukraine and to finance the construction of the Neutron Source nuclear research facility," she said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News