RA-4 research reactor celebrates half a century in the training of technicians and university students

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Inspenet, April 22, 2023

Since the beginning of its operations, in 1973, the objective of the RA-4 research reactor was to train highly qualified personnel in atomic energy. In its facilities, for half a century, practices of different engineering specialties have been carried out and research tasks in the nuclear area have also been carried out.

The RA-4 Siemens SUR 100 belongs to the Institute of Nuclear Studies and Ionizing Radiations (IENRI) of the Faculty of Exact Sciences, Engineering and Surveying of the National University of Rosario (UNR) and the only degree in Nuclear Technology is studied at its facilities from Argentina.

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It is of very low power and is mainly used for the training of nuclear power plant operators and the training of students.

“Today we once again reaffirm, with the 50th anniversary of the RA-4 Reactor, that the Experimentation and Services Reactors are a benchmark of the technological capacity achieved by the nuclear sector in Argentina,” says the head of the Department of Experimentation and Services Reactors of the National Atomic Energy Commission Fabián Moreira.

The RA-4 was framed in the plan of activities that Argentina carried out to specify the installation of the first two nuclear power plants for the generation of nucleoelectricity. National nuclear development planning – under the responsibility of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) – included the essential training of human resources so that the plants could operate correctly. With this objective, this facility was put into operation.

The research reactor began operations in 1973

In July 1971, the RA-4 Siemens SUR 100 reactor arrived in Argentina from Federal Germany, after the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) made an agreement with the government of that country to install a reactor of these characteristics. at the Faculty of Engineering of the National University of Rosario (UNR).

The reactor was purchased “turnkey”, that is, ready to be used, but without the possibility of modifications once it was installed and working. After its arrival, it first passed through the Constituyentes Atomic Center, where it was put into test operation, to be transported to Rosario in October 1972.

“The official inauguration was on April 12, 1973. With this, academic nuclear activity began to develop at the National University of Rosario,” says the current head of Reactor RA-4 Oscar Peire.

1694 reactor de investigacion RA 4 interna 1
RA-4 research reactor celebrates half a century in the training of technicians and university students

The only degree in Nuclear Technology in the country is studied at its facilities

Since its installation, the RA-4 research reactor’s main activity has been the education and training of university students in careers related to the nuclear sector, ranging from different branches of engineering to physics, biochemistry and medicine.

“This is due to the link that was established with other faculties, allowing nuclear training to be multidisciplinary. But, in addition, today, the UNR has a specific career for those who want to train exclusively in nuclear activity: degree in Nuclear Technology. It is a career planned as a curricular complementation cycle for those higher technicians in reactors or nuclear technology who seek to have a deep knowledge in the area”, says Peire.

1694 reactor de investigacion RA 4 interna 2
RA-4 research reactor celebrates half a century in the training of technicians and university students

And he adds: “Approximately 50 students, in two groups, for three years, have been studying for a degree, and a month ago we had the graduation of the first graduate.”

The head of the reactor also emphasizes the importance of having reached agreements with other nuclear institutions to continue being a reference in the nuclear area.

In addition, as a sign of the social insertion of this type of facility, since 2017 the RA-4 also offers training to students from technical secondary schools in the area, increasing its training offer to young people and adolescents interested in entering the nuclear world. .

To learn more about research reactors in Argentina: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/cnea/Tecnologia-nuclear/reactores-de-investigacion

Source : https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/el-reactor-de-investigacion-ra-4-cumple-medio-siglo-en-la-formacion-de-tecnicos-y

Under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.es

Original title: The RA-4 research reactor celebrates half a century in the training of technicians and university students

Text has been edited for clarity and length

Photo: ShutterStock

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