On May 5, 2022, the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan successfully conducted physical start-up of the IVG.1M reactor with low-enriched uranium fuel.
In 2010, following the international commitments of the Republic of Kazakhstan in nuclear non-proliferation, the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan launched a major project on conversion of the IVG.1M research reactor to LEU-fuel. The main goal of the project is to reduce fuel enrichment in the research reactor below 20% in accordance with the IAEA requirements, while maintaining and improving its characteristics.
During the project implementation, specialists of the National Nuclear Center in partnership with the US and Russia performed feasibility study of the conversion, tested the experimental low-enriched uranium fuel and manufactured standard LEU-fuel.
Currently, the reactor is at the first stage of commissioning with LEU-fuel, namely at the stage of physical start-up of the IVG.1M reactor. Following the next stage – energy start-up of the reactor and experimental determination of all necessary characteristics of the new core, the IVG.1M reactor will be put into operation.
Thus, in 2023, the IVG.1M reactor will again be involved into research for peaceful use of atom.
Significant efforts made by all participants of this project are promoting this important international task towards achieving positive result – reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation.
It is symbolic that exactly 30 years ago the physical start-up of the IVG.1M reactor with HEU fuel has been conducted.