The IBR-2M pulsed nuclear reactor operating at the JINR Laboratory of Neutron Physics delivers an intense neutron flux on the order of 1013 n/(cm2 s). By the end of the 2030s, it will outlive its useful lifetime and will have to be replaced with a new machine. The alternative neutron sources proposed so far require extensive and costly R&D efforts, and positive results cannot be guaranteed. In this paper, we present a conceptual design of the IBR-4 reactor running on plutonium-dioxide fuel which is aimed to replace the IBR‑2M machine as a neutron source. This design fully builds on proven technical solutions tested at other nuclear facilities and, therefore, requires no extensive R&D and guarantees reliable and safe operation of the proposed neutron source. Running at a 5-MW power and a pulse repetition rate of 5 Hz, IBR-4 will deliver a thermal-neutron flux of 5.8 × 1013 cm–2 s–1. When running at a 10-MW power and a pulse repetition rate of 10 Hz, the proposed source is expected to deliver a record-high thermal-neutron flux on the order of 1.1 × 1014 cm–2 s–1.
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We thank the members of the IBR-2M staff and the JINR LNP nuclear-safety team for assistance, support, and useful discussions that helped us develop the conceptual design of the IBR-4 neutron source.
Translated by A. Asratyan
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Pepelyshev, Y.N., Vinogradov, A.V., Rogov, A.D. et al. Conceptual Design of a Fast Periodically Pulsed Reactor. Phys. Part. Nuclei Lett. 18, 82–92 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1547477121010106