A New VR-2 Research Reactor will be Built in the Czech Republic

The construction and commissioning of the VR-2 research reactor is planned to be completed by the end of 2022. The Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague launched the VR-2 project in 2014, and in March 2022 received a construction license from the State Office for Nuclear Safety of the Czech Republic. The new reactor will be constructed in the same reactor hall as the VR-1 research reactor, which has been in operation since 1990.  

VR-2 is a subcritical reactor with insufficient fuel to support the fission chain reaction, so it can only operate with an external neutron source. As soon as the source is disconnected, the fission stops. This simplifies the design of the reactor. It is based on the pool location of the reactor vessel, where there is an internal installation with fuel rods that form the core. The moderator will be demineralized water. 

Enriched and natural uranium fuel in the form of fuel rods will be combined in the core. The faculty already has fuel for the new reactor, delivered to Prague from the Finnish University of Aalto in June 2018. 

The newly constructed VR-2 research reactor will offer many experimental and scientific opportunities for teaching nuclear students and their experiments in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral theses. In addition to educational activities, it will also be used for research purposes. 

According to World Nuclear News