The reactor at Kjeller remains in shutdown mode
In January, Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) postponed the JEEP II reactor start-up at Kjeller due to findings of corrosion on several components. So far, investigations show the need for extensive and costly improvements to put the reactor back into operation.
The corrosion was discovered in a detailed inspection of the reactor during a scheduled maintenance stop. Before starting the inspections, the reactor had been shut down and put in safe condition. The fuel and heavy water have been taken out of the reactor. IFE, with the assistance of external experts, will investigate the findings carefully and will continue with further inspections of the reactor.
“This is a grave situation regarding continued operation. The findings require extensive repairs and improvements before re-starting operations. We are still carrying out the planned inspections, but we recognize that repair is an expensive and time-consuming process. Safety always comes first at IFE, and we have concluded that it is not an option to re-start the reactor without extensive improvements”, says Nils Morten Huseby, President of IFE.
The JEEP II reactor is a research reactor used by scientists in Norway and internationally for research in basic physics, materials science, cancer medicine and renewable energy. The plant is now in shutdown mode, without a given date for when or if the operations resume. IFE maintains activities such as monitoring, control and maintenance to ensure safety. Based on the plant’s present condition, the reactor will not be re-started in 2019.
“The Board is informed of the situation and has requested all relevant measures to be carried out to clarify the situation. In the Board meeting on April 25th, a plan for improvements with associated costs will be presented. The board will then decide where to go from there”, says Huseby.
IFE has informed the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning on the matter and the further process.
The JEEP II-reactor
- JEEP II is a nuclear research reactor located at Kjeller, Norway used by Norwegian and international researchers for studies in physics, materials, cancer medicine and renewable energy.
- The reactor has been in operation since 1967.
- The reactor is part of the national Norwegian research infrastructure NcNeutron for fundamental research in physics and materials technology https://ncneutron.no
- The reactor is part of Norway’s contribution to the development and construction of the research centre European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden
- IFE received a renewed license to operate the JEEP II for ten more years, starting January 1, 2019
IFE’s main tasks in summary
- Develop profitable, safe and environmentally friendly technologies in renewable energy, petroleum extraction and CO2 handling (CCS).
- Maintain and further develop national nuclear expertise based on the Halden and JEEP II reactors.
- Contribute to basic science in physics based on the JEEP II reactor at Kjeller.
- Safeguard and further develop the production of ground-breaking cancer medicine and other nuclear medicine.
- Offer IFE’s unique expertise in VR, AR, digitalization and nuclear safety technology to other industries and government agencies.