Research Reactor Section

Operation and Maintenance

The Research Reactor Section works with Member States to optimize research reactor availability and reliability through shared operating experience as well as the development and implementation of operational and maintenance plans, ageing management plans, training programmes and international peer reviews. Many Member States look to the Agency for advice, ideas and information exchange on these topics. Projects in the Operation and Maintenance area aim to fulfil these requests by documenting good practices and lessons learned as an element for strengthening operational management.

This video describes the importance of research reactor applications, the challenges research reactors face today, and the many ways that the IAEA helps countries with their research reactor programmes on ageing and applications.


Current Projects

  • New CRP: Establishment of a Material Properties Database for Irradiated Core Structural Components (A Nucleus account is required for access to the members site)
  • 2 new CRPs: Improved I&C Maintenance Techniques for Research Reactors; Condition Monitoring and Incipient Failure Detection of Process Plant Equipment in Research Reactors

  • New CRP: Improved Instrumentation and Control Maintenance Techniques for Research Reactors using the Plant Computer
  • Technical Meeting on RR Ageing, Modernization and Refurbishment, 14–18 October 2013, in conjunction with the
    2013 meeting of the International Group on Research Reactors (IGORR)
  • Digital Instrumentation and Control Systems for New and Existing Facilities
  • Operation and Maintenance Assessment for Research Reactors (OMARR) missions
  • Research Reactor Ageing Database
  • Planned publication: Application of Probabilistic Assessment for Research Reactors
  • Research Reactor Modernization and Refurbishment
  • Support for research reactor safety work in operation and maintenance areas - with the Nuclear Safety Research Reactor Safety Section


    • Related Publications


      Research Reactor Modernization and Refurbishment, IAEA TECDOC-1625 (2009)

      pdfThroughout their lifetime, research reactors must address deficiencies and new requirements that evolve over time. Reactor organizations must undertake an array of work activities to either re-establish performance that has degraded over time, maintain performance in the face of changing conditions (refurbishment) or adapt to new customer or regulatory demands (modernization). The scope of this publication includes work typically implemented as a site capital engineering project or series of smaller individual sub-projects.

      Optimization of Research Reactor Availability and Reliability: Recommended Practices , IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NP-T-5.4

      pdf An effective availability and reliability programme (ARP) is necessary to ensure the financial viability of research reactor facilities. This publication draws upon data from heavily utilized research reactors of diverse sizes and usage, and provides information on specific operations and maintenance practices and programmes directed towards optimization of reactor performance. The optimization of reactor performance not only increases customer confidence, thereby ensuring funding, but also improves the reactorÿs operating life and economic competitiveness.

      For more Operation and Maintenance publications, see the Research Reactor Bibliography.

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