The Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute is seeking to build a bigger nuclear reactor for social and economic applications, notably for producing materials to be used in the health sector, institute head Nguyen Nhi Dien said.
The reactor, part of a nuclear development scheme devised by the institute, will require an investment of between US$100 million and US$200 million more, and have a designed capacity of 10 to 20MW, Dien said. No site has been proposed for the reactor, but it is unlikely that the new facility will be located in Da Lat, which is home to the country’s existing reactor.
The institute will submit a proposal to the Ministry of Science and Technology on the plan, but Dien did not mention the timeframe for the development scheme.
The current nuclear reactor in Da Lat, which was built more than 40 years ago and has a capacity of 500KW, is one of the world’s smallest nuclear reactors that still operates efficiently.
After upgrade in 1984, the nuclear reactor has produced more than 2,200 curies of radioactive isotopes to supply medial facilities, industry, agriculture and environmental research.