Korea to upgrade Greek research reactor

18 May 2009

Greece's GRR-1 pool-type research reactor is to be uprated and modernised after the Greek National Centre of Scientific Research (NRSC) 'Demokritos' signed a contract with Korea Power Engineering Co (Kopec).

Kopec-NSRC Demokritos (Kopec)
Signing of the contract in Athens (Image: Kopec)
Following tender launched in April 2008, Kopec was selected by NRSC Demokritis in January as the preferred bidder for upgrading the GRR-1 reactor from 5 MWt to 10 MWt.
The state-owned Korean company has now signed a 1.5 billion won ($1.2 million) contract to conduct the upgrade. Kopec will provide engineering and consulting services in replacing the primary cooling system of the reactor, and in improving the reactor's design and control system.
Construction of the GRR-1 reactor began in August 1959 and it began operating in 1961. The reactor has applications in neutron scattering techniques, nuclear analytical techniques, new materials and in biological; tissue sterilization.
NRSC Demokritis said that the major refurbishment of the reactor will extend its operating life by at least 20 years. The refurbishment comprises renovating the reactor building and supporting electromechanical systems; replacing the primarily cooling system; and, replacing the reactor control system.
Meanwhile, Kopec has said that it has formed a consortium - together with Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (Kaeri), Doosan Heavy Industries and Daewoo - which will submit a bid for the construction of the future 80 MWt PALLAS research reactor in the Netherlands, which is needed to replace the existing 45 MWt HFR research reactor at Petten in 2015.
According to the Korea Times, the same consortium will submit a bid to construct a 5 MWt research reactor in Jordan. Government officials told the newspaper that the Jordanian reactor will cost some $318 million and a multiple number of preferred bidders will be announced next month.
Kaeri constructed South Korea's first research reactor, Hanaro, in 1995.