Research & Development

Russia / MBIR Will Cost About $1.1 Billion, Says Report

By David Dalton
22 June 2020

Research reactor is scheduled to start in 2024
MBIR Will Cost About $1.1 Billion, Says Report
Alexei Likhachev told president Vladimir Putin that technical preparations for the plant are complete.
The MBIR multipurpose fast neutron research reactor in Russia, scheduled to begin operation in 2024, will cost about 80 billion rubles ($1.1bn, €1bn) with Russian state development corporation VEB.RF and Gazprombank providing a loan of more than RUB 20 billion, state-run news agency Tass has reported.

According to Tass, Alexei Likhachev, director-general of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told president Vladimir Putin recently that technical preparations for the plant were complete and Russia is “hoping for interest from international partners”.

Tass gave no details of possible international cooperation, but said it could involve France, China and the Czech Republic.

Mr Likhachev said the MBIR plant will prepare the way for “reactors for future generations”.

According to Rosatom, the MBIR will be the most powerful research reactor in the world with 150 MW of thermal capacity. It is under construction at the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) site at Dimitrovgrad in the Ulyanovsk region of western Russia.

The MBIR will primarily use sodium as a coolant and vibro-packed mixed-oxide (VMOX) fuel. VMOX is a Russian variant of MOX fuel in which blended uranium-plutonium oxide powders and fresh uranium-oxide powder are loaded directly into the cladding tube of the fuel assembly instead of first being manufactured into pellets.

The MBIR will be used for the development of materials for Generation IV fast neutron reactors. Scientists will use it to carry out experiments on the operating parameters of core components under normal and emergency conditions when using sodium, lead, lead-bismuth, gaseous and molten salt coolants.

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