Converting the Iranian Heavy Water Reactor IR-40 to a More Proliferation-Resistant Reactor

Thomas Mo Willig, Cecilia Futsaether, Halvor Kippe, "Converting the Iranian Heavy Water Reactor IR-40 to a More Proliferation-Resistant Reactor," Science & Global Security, 20, no. 2-3, (2012): 97-116.
This article assesses the feasibility and benefits of converting the Iranian heavy water research reactor, IR-40, from using natural uranium to low-enriched uranium fuel. Based on neutronics calculations for a detailed model of the two reactor configurations, a conversion would result in a smaller core with a subsequent reduction and degradation of plutonium production. It is argued that the proposed conversion will provide Iran with a research reactor that is better suited for scientific experiments and radioisotope production than in its original configuration. It is proposed to introduce the converted IR-40's fuel consumption requirements as a natural cap for Iran's future enrichment efforts.

Article access: Taylor & Francis Online | Free PDF

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