This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the IVG.1 reactor first physical start-up.
The IVG.1 reactor was installed at the bench complex «Baikal-1» and on September 18, 1972, a physical start-up was carried out. The main technical solutions for the reactor with calculated thermal power of 720 MW were already outlined in the preliminary design, which was developed by the NIKIET Company in 1966. The design presented a channel and casing apparatus with water moderator, gas coolant and beryllium reflector. Its core was formed from 31 fuel assemblies, and in the central assembly a neutron flux was provided 1,5 times more, than in the average assembly in zone. The high-power density of all its components has become a characteristic of the active zone. As a result of the physical start-up, the main neutron and physical characteristics of the reactor were determined and their compliance with the design values was confirmed. The 1972 event preceded the power start-up, which marked the beginning of a series of unique reactor tests of fuel assemblies, core modules, prototypes of nuclear rocket engines and power propulsion systems, the results of which became world-class and one that hasn’t been approached closely ever since.
The modernized IVG.1M reactor, completed with water-cooled channels, is still in operation today. The 50 years after the first physical start-up, work was successfully completed on the physical start-up of the IVG.1M research reactor with new low-enriched uranium fuel, which significantly increases the reactor company, which will allow continuing research work in the field of peaceful atom as early as 2023.