Nuclear Research Reactors LVR-15 and LR-0

logo-cvrReactors LVR-15 and LR-0 – website

Hosting institution: Research Centre Řež

Nuclear research reactors LVR-15 and LR-0 are a research infrastructure for basic and applied R&D in the field of neutron applications, especially for nuclear power technologies of Generation II, III, IV and fusion. The supplementary experimental loops can be used also in conventional power engineering, such as supercritical water or hydrogen technology. The reactor LVR-15 is unique source of high flux neutrons for material research. The experimental loops provide an environment simulating various power plants of generations II, III and IV. For Generation II and III units, the main benefits are extending of the lifetime of nuclear power plants, increasing safety and using project reserves. For Generation IV and nuclear fusion the loops are unique background for R&D of new materials. Besides, the LVR-15 reactor produces radionuclides for various industry as well health applications and is the main source of neutrons for the use by CANAM research infrastructure and other open access users. Reactor LR-0 is irreplaceable in the verification of computational tools and nuclear data. Reactors LVR-15 and LR-0 are continuously engaged into a number of EURATOM projects (e.g. ARCADIA – Assessment of Regional CApabilities for New Reactors Development through an Integrated Approach, CORONA – Establishment of a Regional Center of Competence for VVER Technology and Nuclear Applications).

Future development

Both research reactors LVR-15 and LR-0 have the operating license valid till the end of 2020. To extend this license, it will be necessary to prove the residual lifetime of all important components. This assessment is carried out according to an aging management plan and the its results are used for planning the preventive maintenance with the ultimate goal to ensure the reliable operation of the reactors through their lifetime. For example, this assesment resulted in the refurbishment of LVR-15 instrumentation and control system in 2014. The future plans include neutron detectors and radiation monitoring system. The reactors LVR-15 and LR-0 are further expanding – new experimental loops and other experimental equipment will be installed. Since 2016 an internal project has been implemented, covering all activities aimed at renewing the authorization of operation after 2020.

Socio-economic impact

The main purpose of the research reactors LVR-15 and LR-0 is to support the applied research. Nevertheless, they are used to some extent also for commercial activities, such as radionuclide production for radiodiagnostics and radiotherapy used in the healthcare. Besides the applied research and commercial activities, the research infrastructure focuses on education and training of young researchers as well as on supporting public awareness in the field of nuclear technology including organizing the regular open days. The research infrastructure also holds technical excursions and seminars.