Da Lat Nuclear Reactor: safe operation in 30 years

(VOV) - The Da Lat Nuclear Reactor has been operating effectively since its restoration and expansion in 1984, said a leading Vietnamese expert in atomic energy.

It is the first and only nuclear reactor of its kind in Vietnam to have reached 37,800 hours of safe operation, said Nguyen Nhi Dien, Director of the Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute (NRI).

Dien, who is also Vice Director of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, acknowledged the excellent safety record of the reactor, at a meeting in Da Lat on March 20 to mark the 30th anniversary of the reactor’s restoration work.

The reactor has been effectively exploited, providing analysis for geology, oil and gas, the environment, agricultural product exports, as well as monitoring, observing and evaluating environmental impact and contributing to health care, biology, and agriculture.

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The NRI has so far researched and compiled around 30 radioactive isotopes used in the medical, economic and technical sectors.

The institute has consulted domestic hospitals in building nuclear medicine radiotherapy departments, promoting the development of nuclear medicine in particular and accelerating the application of nuclear technology and radioactive isotopes in economic and technical sectors in general.

It has successfully researched and implemented radiation and in-vitro technology, helping preserve plant varieties and diversify botanical resources for Central Highlands provinces.

The Da Lat Nuclear Reactor, formerly known as TRIGA Mark II reactor, was built in 1963 with the authorised maximum operation power level of 250kWt, but it ceased operation from 1968 to 1975.

With support from the former Soviet Union, Vietnam began to restore and expand the reactor in February 1982 and officially resumed operation on March 20, 1984, allowing a peak pulse power of 500 kWt.

Da Lat is expected to build a new 15MWt reactor in the future.