Poland Finances Modernisation of Maria Nuclear Reactor
Poland's National Centre for Nuclear Research (Narodowe Centrum Badań Jądrowych - NCBJ) has received funding from the central government to upgrade the country's only nuclear research reactor, the Maria.
This was reported by NucNet.
The project is worth 91.7 million zlotys (20 million euros, 22 million dollars) and will include upgrades needed to extend the reactor's lifetime until at least 2050.
The NCBJ said the upgrades will include power supply, control and protection, ventilation and dosimetry systems, an emergency warning system and a cooling tower.
NCBJ will manage the project, which is expected to be completed in 2027.
The reactor was physically commissioned in December 1974 and currently has a permit to operate until 2025.
The reactor is named after Marie Skłodowska-Curie, a Polish-born, two-time Nobel Prize winner, pioneering physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity, and is essential to Poland's leading role in the radiopharmaceutical industry, according to NCBJ.
The medical radioisotopes produced by the plant are a vital component of a number of medical research projects.
The NCBJ reported that approximately 380,000 nuclear medical procedures are performed annually in Poland, which underscores the importance of the reactor's continuous operation and its role in public health and medicine. The NCBJ reported that about 17 million people worldwide use products based on radioisotopes produced at the reactor, with Maria covering approximately 12-15% of the world's molybdenum-99 supply.
In addition to the production of radioisotopes, Maria is also used for testing nuclear fuel and structural materials, neutron modification of materials, research in neutron and condensed matter physics, neutron radiography, and for teaching reactor physics and engineering.
The High Flux Research Reactor at the Swierk Research Centre, about 30 km southeast of Warsaw, is a water and beryllium pool reactor with a graphite reflector and pressurised channels containing concentric six-tube fuel cell assemblies.
Earlier, The Gaze reported that the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Poland gave the green light for the construction of the country's first nuclear power plant.
The Minister of Climate and Environment, at the request of Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ), issued a decision officially confirming that investment in the first nuclear power plant in Poland is in the public interest. This document entitles PEJ to apply for further administrative decisions, such as siting and subsequent building permits.