Name: VR-1 – Training Reactor for Research Activities

Institution: Czech Technical University in Prague

Coordinator: Assoc. Prof Ľubomír Sklenka, Ph.D.; lubomir.sklenka@fjfi.cvut.cz


The VR-1 Nuclear Experimental Hub is a cluster of experimental nuclear facilities and nuclear laboratories consisting of training reactor VR-1, subcritical reactor VR-2, an internet reactor laboratory, neutron activation analysis laboratory, neutron interactions laboratory, nuclear security laboratory, radiation protection laboratory, reactor I&C laboratory, external neutron sources and neutron detectors. The hub was systematically built step-by-step during the last decade to maximise synergy utilisation effects between various parts of the hub and to optimise its operational costs. The VR-1 reactor is state-of-the-art experimental instrumentation for the education of Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. students in the field of nuclear engineering from the Czech Republic and abroad. The VR-1 reactor has been in operation since 1990. The VR-2 subcritical reactor is a nuclear reactor that cannot reach criticality or supercriticality. It requires an external source of neutrons to keep the steady-state chain reaction. The VR-2 reactor has been in operation since 2023. The internet reactor laboratory offers the opportunity to add real remote reactor experiments to the academic curriculum, particularly in nuclear engineering and reactor physics, where students’ access to an operating research reactor is not feasible. The neutron activation analysis laboratory contains two HPGe detectors in a lead shield, several gamma spectrometric systems and multichannel analysers. The devices allow for performing the qualitative and quantitative analysis of monitored samples from various fields of science (e.g., historical samples, soil samples, etc.). The neutron interactions laboratory consists of three principal experimental instrumentations, a graphite prism, water bath and manganese bath. The main purpose of the nuclear security laboratory is to understand, model and evaluate physical security systems at nuclear installations (reactors). The laboratory is designed for the facility characterisation, target identification, threat definition and basic principles of a physical protection system design (detection, delay, response). R&I activities at the VR-1 hub mainly focus on current challenges in nuclear energy development. Apart from traditional nuclear technology, the hub is also active in using neutron applications in R&I, thus enabling various multidisciplinary R&I that combines nuclear technology and natural sciences, social sciences or humanities.