A New Training Reactor Started Operations At CTU In Prague

On 6th June, the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague launched the second training fission nuclear reactor VR-2.

The Faculty launched the VR-2 exactly a year after the announcement of the construction licence issued by the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SÚJB). The new reactor is situated in the same reactor hall as VR-1 operated by the Faculty since 1990.

The VR-2 reactor is of the subcritical type, so without an external source of neutrons, it cannot sustain a fission chain reaction. If the external supply of neutrons is disconnected, fission stops. Therefore, the reactor operation is more accessible and safer, and its design parameters are significantly less demanding.

The fuel for VR-2 was donated in 2018 by the Aalto University of Finland.

Its construction was facilitated by situating the VR-2 reactor in the same reactor hall as the VR-1, the hall as such already complied with the placement regulations for VR-1 and still offered enough space for both.

The VR-2 reactor will serve both training and education and will be utilized for research projects, so expanding the operation capacity of successfully operating educational and experimental reactor VR-1.

The demand for education on this unique educational reactor at FNSPE CTU still grows and the new subcritical reactor will cover the educational needs of a larger number of students from the Czech Republic and from abroad.

With the new VR-2 fission reactor teaching and research activities will be easier to schedule, because with the VR-1 we have been facing capacity limits. VR-1 serves not only students from our home Faculty but also students from other faculties at CTU and other universities; it is open to train foreign students and even staff from industry

explained the Dean of FNSPE, Associate Professor Václav Čuba.

The facility is the tenth nuclear reactor currently in operation in the Czech Republic, considering also the VR-1 located at the same university, two research reactors at the Research Centre in Řež, and six nuclear reactors are in operation at two ČEZ nuclear power plants.

Read the full CTU Press Release.