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Small-Power Reactors for Training, Research, and Nuclear Medicine

Processing in the gas lab at the CERCA Radioactivity Standards Lab.

These small nuclear reactors, a few dozen MWth in size or less, are perfectly adapted to training and to the implementation of a nuclear power program. They are also suitable for research and nuclear medicine applications.

Small, multi-application reactors, also referred to as research reactors, are not designed to generate electricity.  Instead, they are used for developing the introduction of a power generation program:

  • They contribute to the public's acceptance of nuclear technologies.
  • They facilitate the implementation of safety authority type structures.
  • They serve to train teams in the different techniques within this domain (radioprotection, safety, etc.).

Depending on their power level, these reactors are also used to produce neutrons to respond to various needs:   Production of radioactive elements, physical reactor studies, material studies, etc.

Guided acquisition of skill

Assembly of fuel for a research reactor

  • A progressive introduction to nuclear power. Learning can begin through an orientation using simulation tools and then proceed in stages towards a more operational training with the help of increasingly powerful reactors.
  • An operating environment similar to electronuclear power plants. Combined use of a small reactor and simulators makes it possible to reproduce the operating conditions of an electronuclear power plant.
  • A global line of solutions. We assist our clients in defining their needs and throughout the entire nuclear cycle (design/construction of the reactor, launch, fuel fabrication, waste processing, spent fuel processing).
  • Unparalleled experience. Our 40 years of experience and our mastery of nuclear safety makes us the ideal partner on all levels, from research reactors to electrical production plants.

Reactors above the 2 MWth power class

The power range of these reactors goes from 2MWth to 100MWth.

They can reproduce operating conditions close to those of a nuclear power plant, such as where security procedures are concerned, for example.

They suit the needs of electricity companies seeking training in the operation of a nuclear power plant on a low-power system. For the purpose of training in the operation of a power plant, it is also possible to use simulators to complete training.

These models are also used for:

  • Nuclear medicine, the fabrication of radio-isotopes
  • Fundamental physics research, as a source of neutrons
  • Nuclear studies
  • Material irradiation
  • etc.

Reactors below 2 MWth power class

These reactor models, with an even more simplified design, allow for very flexible utilization and operation. They are primarily intended for teaching nuclear sciences and for university applications.

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Training in nuclear professions

AREVA provides a range of general and operational training courses in all areas of the nuclear cycle.

Research reactors

AREVA TA offers a global range of low-power nuclear reactors, intended for research or medicine in particular.