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06 February 2024, 09:08

Belarus’ nuclear scientist names applications of research reactors

MINSK, 6 February (BelTA) – Aleksei Lukashevich, Deputy Director General for Research at the Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research Sosny of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, told BelTA during a round table in what areas a research reactor can be used.

“There are 840 research reactors in 70 countries; 225 of them are currently in operation in 54 countries. The number of countries having research reactors is bigger than the number of countries having nuclear power reactors. Thus, even countries that do not have nuclear power are engaged in research in this area,” Aleksei Lukashevich noted.

According to him, a total of 20 research reactors are at the design or construction stage in another 15 countries.

“I would like to emphasize that the society and the state are developing according to a certain cycle. In the past we had our own research reactors; a mobile low-power nuclear power plant was also developed. Now we need to advance to a new level of science and technology, revisit these issues,” he said.

According to the IAEA, such reactors are well suited for educating and training nuclear plant personnel, radiation protection personnel, nuclear safety watchdogs, as well as students and scientists. In general, such reactors are simple and easily accessible, which makes it possible to safely maintain all operating conditions.

“A research reactor can be used in radiobiological and medical research, including for the treatment of agricultural products, medical diagnostics and therapy. It can also be used to produce radionuclides, including medical isotopes and isotopes of transuranium elements. Its other applications extend to radiation chemistry where it is used to test durability of synthetic materials, powerful gamma radiation,” Aleksei Lukashevich remarked.

The researcher offered examples of using a research reactor in neutron physics, engineering research, materials science and other fields.
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