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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Egypt's Second Research Reactor (MPR) opened

    Nuclear research reactors are essential facilities in the development of nuclear technology for peaceful applications. In research reactors, where the controlled nuclear fission and release of neutrons and radiation take place, basic R&D in nuclear science and engineering can be conducted, radioisotopes and gamma radiation sources are produced.

    Moreover several applications related to R&D in power reactor simulation and fuel reactor structural materials performance can also be conducted. Research reactors may also be utilised in applications related to human health and electronic industry.

    In the process of selection of Egypt's MPR, the Atomic Energy Authority adopted an approach aiming at fulfilling the following:

  • The best available technology in research reactors.

    • Application of the most advanced concepts of the safety in design construction and operation of the reactor.

    • Maximisation of technology transfer through the participation manpower in all stages of the project, starting from design up to operation.

  • Maximisation of participation of national industry in component manufacture.

  • Local manufacture of the required fuel.

Based on these concepts, the AEA called for international bidding for the construction of the reactor. After careful evaluation of several international bids, The Argentina INVAP company was awarded the contract.

    The 22 Mw open pool Multi-Purpose Reactor MPR at Inshas, aims at producing radioisotopes for industrial and medical applications, research on neutron physics and personnel training.

    The reactor features several beam tubes, hot cells, high pressure test loops and other research equipment. The reactor is located at the Inshas site of the Atomic Energy Authority, 60 km from Cairo-Egypt.

    The reactor building has four levels. The building is seismically qualified and features a massive block built in heavy concrete containing the reactor and auxiliary pools.

    A Neutron House is connected to the reactor building through a corridor designed to contain the neutron guide. The reactor pool is cylindrical, has a diameter of 4.5 meters and is built in stainless steel. An auxiliary pool for fuel storage and radioactive materials handling is connected to it.

    The core is configured in a 5 x 6 grid surrounded by a Zircaloy chimney, 10 meters below the pool surface. The fuel elements are low enriched uranium type with aluminium cladding. (19.75% Uranium 235). Each fuel element has 19 flat plates. Beryllium reflectors are positioned around the core outside the reactor chimney.

    The core reactivity is controlled six Ag-In-Cd alloy control plates. The plates are driven by mechanisms located beneath the reactor pool. The core is cooled by demineralized water in a forced upwards flow. After shutdown, the decay power is removed by natural circulation of the reactor pool water.

    Waste management

    Irradiated fuel elements are stored in baskets at the auxiliary pool. The basket design and coolant conditions ensure that integrity of the fuel cladding is preserved.

    The radioactive liquid waste management system classifies, collects and temporarily stores liquid waste originated during operation of the reactor. The system also includes a L0C drainage system, with enough capacity to store al the water contained in the reactor and auxiliary pools.

Instrumentation & Control System

    The reactor is monitored, controlled and manage by the Instrumentation and Control Systems.

Reactor Protection System - RPS

    The Reactor is protected by the Reactor Protection System, which monitors roughly 5 safety parameters and signals to detect any potentially unsafe condition, automatically triggers the safety systems.

The plant construction is very sturdy and its safety margins are ample

    The plant complies with all Safety Standards and Guides of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Research Reactors Safety.

    Reactor Facilities

    MPR has Facilities for R&D and radioisotopes production.

Neutron bears facilities

    From the beryllium reflector, one tangential tube with two openings and two radial tubes, leave the reactor tank for neutron beam uses. The tangential tube leads towards a tunnel that leads to the Neutron House building.

    A neutron guide will be used to send the neutron beams to the different instruments to be placed in the Neutron House.

    A graphite-filled thermal column, covers one of the sides of the core. This column ends in a radial channel leading to a hot cell for Neutron Boron Capture Therapy Development.

Neutron radiography system

    One radiography system is placed outside one of the radial tubes. Another such system, is located inside the reactor tank for underwater radiography of highly activated samples.

Material Science

    A hot cell at the auxiliary pool top, is provided for lodging different material testing equipment. Samples can be easily transported from the reactor pool to this cell.

Activation analysis

    There are two pneumatic transport systems, enabling fast and safe transference of capsules between the reactor core and the end stations at radiochemical hoods in the hot laboratory. This system is specially suited for neutron a activation analysis.

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