Research Reactor Section


IAEA Support of Research Reactor HEU to LEU Fuel Conversion

 

Milestone 2: Ready To Invite Bids For The Research Reactor

Following the policy decision to proceed with the development of a research reactor project, substantive work for achieving the necessary level of technical and institutional competence should be undertaken. This second phase requires a significant and continuing commitment from the government and from the operating organization. It is assumed that the duties of the RRPIC will be incorporated into the regulatory authority at this stage of the project.

During the second phase of the programme, the country will carry out the work required to prepare for the construction of a research reactor. The nuclear legislation will need to be enacted before proceeding with a request for bid for the first research reactor. The regulatory body will need to be developed to a level at which it can fulfil all of its oversight duties. Before the commencement of the bidding process, the licensing stages and activities to be licensed should be defined, including safety and security requirements for the bidding process itself. The necessary infrastructure should be developed to the point of complete readiness to request a bid or enter into a commercial contract. This publication assumes that the country may use the competitive bid process to purchase the first research reactor; however it is acknowledged that there are a number of different procurement processes for the acquisition of the first reactor, including securing the supply of necessary nuclear fuel.

An effective management system and staff capabilities need to be developed to ensure proper accomplishment of the operating organization obligations. The operating organization has a key role at this time in ensuring that it has developed the competences to manage a nuclear project, to achieve the level of organization, operational culture, and safety culture necessary to meet the regulatory requirements, and the ability to demonstrate that it is an adequately informed and effective customer. The IAEA Safety Requirements NS-R-4 “Safety of research reactors” and the Safety Guide NS-G-4.5 ”The Operating Organization, and the Recruitment, Training and Qualification of Personnel for Research Reactors” provide useful guidance on how to establish an operating organization with a strong safety culture.

 

IAEA Scientific Officers

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