Research Reactor Section

Research Reactor Justification

A research reactor project can take many forms. The type, size, power and cost of the research reactor designs and its ancillary facilities should be matched to the needs of the potential stakeholders and to the financial resources that are available. The ancillary facilities include such items as educational facilities, neutron beam lines and instrumentation, isotope preparation hot cells and chemical processing facilities, etc.

It is recommended that the ancillary facilities are always considered as an integral and essential part of the research reactor project. A research reactor cannot be utilized without the ancillary facilities. The quality and adequacy of the ancillary facilities therefore determine in a large part the usefulness and effectiveness of the research reactor.

A research reactor may be constructed to meet the requirements of a single Member State, or it may be constructed to serve as a regional or international centre of excellence, helping to meet the needs of both the initiating Member State and its neighbours or collaborators. Developing the case for a regional facility is more difficult and complex, but is potentially highly beneficial, providing higher utilization, additional human and financial resources, and helping to elevate the scientific stature of the host Member State. Regional cooperation can cross-fertilise experience between the collaborating States, help to adopt best practices, and to get and maintain high standards in expertise, in experimental tools and facilities.

It is indispensable to assess stakeholders’ needs, to develop the initial strategic plan for the research reactor, and to adapt the research reactor specification to meet the identified needs. Support for the research reactor justification can come from the IAEA in the form of specific IAEA publications, expert meetings, TC projects, and information from other research reactor projects. Relevant information may also be available from research reactor vendors and other countries that have recently made the decision to purchase a research reactor.


IAEA Scientific Officers

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