29 Apr (NucNet): Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) has decided to permanently shut down the Jeep-II research reactor – the country’s last operating reactor.
Earlier this year, IFE said “extensive and costly improvements” were needed to keep Jeep-II, at Kjeller, about 25km northeast of Oslo, in operation.
In a statement on 26 April the institute said its board of directors decided on 25 April to permanently close operations at the reactor, based on “an overall technical and economical assessment”.
A board resolution said: “The Norwegian state contributes with funding for waste management and decommissioning, but potential repair and further operation of the Jeep-II reactor will be IFE’s responsibility, and IFE cannot count on government support for this. IFE does not have the resources to bear the risk of repair itself. The board has therefore decided not to resume operations at the Jeep-II reactor.”
The closure of Jeep-II has “limited consequences” for IFE’s research, the resolution said. “IFE is one of Norway’s largest research institutes with strong, international research groups in the fields of energy, health, digitalisation and nuclear technology.”
Jeep-II has been in operation since 1967 and has been used by researchers in physics, materials, cancer medicine, renewable energy, and nuclear disarmament.
It has been offline since December 2018 for scheduled maintenance and control.
In January, corrosion was found on several components that are important for the safety of the reactor. IFE said the repair will require a long-term shutdown of the reactor with considerable repair costs in excess of its financial capabilities.
In June 2018 IFE decided to permanently close the Halden research reactor in Norway, saying the business risks associated with keeping it operational were too great.