28 August 2018

The RA-10 reactor’s pool was located where the Argentine National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA, in Spanish) is building the modern nuclear reactor that will provide technology for health, science and industry. The pool is an essential component that will house the core of the reactor inside.

The Argentine Minister of Energy, Javier Iguacel, the Undersecretary of Nuclear Energy of the Argentine Ministry of Energy , Julián Gadano, and the President of the CNEA, Osvaldo Calzetta Larrieu, were present at the assembly of the main pool of the multipurpose nuclear reactor that the CNEA is building at the Ezeiza Atomic Center. The event that took place on August 27 was also attended by authorities of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation; the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN, in Spanish); the Argentine companies INVAP S.E., CONUAR S.A. and Dioxitek S.A.; the Town Council of Ezeiza; the company carrying out the civil works, Caputo S.A.; and the metallurgical company Secin S.A. (in charge of manufacturing the component).

“I am quite moved because this is very important for the country, and every contribution we can make to the application of technology will improve our people’s quality of life in return,” affirmed Iguacel. The Minister emphasized that apart from allowing the scientific community to go on researching, “the reactor will be an important radioisotope and molybdenum producer. This is another step that shows the Argentinians’ potential when they work hard.”

On his part, Lic. Gadano stated that “this is a very special day since the CNEA is manufacturing the reactors that INVAP exports. It further demonstrates that the CNEA is the most important technological institution of the country. This is a significant milestone,” he summed up.  

The Manager of the RA-10 Project, Herman Blaumann, reminded that just over a year ago, in May 2017, we were celebrating the first pouring of concrete; and only two years ago we signed the main contracts for the civil works, whose rate of progress is today 50 %; while supply, manufacturing and assembly tasks report a rate of 40 %.
“Taking into account the level of progress in civil works, we are already able to assemble the pool and continue building the reactor,” said Blaumann, who explained that its design demanded twelve thousand man hours, while its construction under strict quality standards will take sixty thousand man hours.

On the next steps, the Manager pointed out that “after finishing with the main pool, the decay tank and service pool will be assembled. These are the three major components of the reactor. Then the whole building will be closed.”

He added that “we are training the staff of the reactor’s future operators and following the licensing procedures to have the startup license ready by the end of 2021. We are also working in collaboration with the future users of the RA-10 to ensure the full exploitation of the facility.”

Technical specifications
The pool is one of the fundamental components of the RA-10 since it will house the core components: the fuel elements, control bars and other essential devices.
The container is 14 meters high and 4.5 meters wide. Its design is the result of the joint work of CNEA and INVAP engineers and technicians. It was manufactured by the metallurgical company Secin S.A., located in the city of Quilmes, from where it was moved in a single piece to the Ezeiza Atomic Center.
Radioisotopes, research and much more.

The RA-10 Project includes the design, building, assembly and operation of a multipurpose nuclear reactor to provide radioisotopes for medical and industrial uses, as well as nuclear capabilities for scientific research.

Once in operation, the RA-10 will ensure the supply of radioisotope for medical uses at the national level and will have the capacity to export to the world market. It will make a strategic impact on our country in the fields of health, science, applied research, technological development and services.

Next to the reactor’s facilities, the Argentine Laboratory of Neutron Beams (LAHN, in Spanish) will be established, where professionals and technicians will be trained in order to increase their research abilities in basic sciences and applied technologies, so as to create a regional science and technology hub.