In 2021 Cabinet approved the construction of the Multipurpose Reactor (MPR), The MPR is intended to succeed SAFARI-1, a 20 MW light water-cooled research reactor, when it reaches its end of life. SAFARI-1 is operated by Necsa and located at Pelindaba, west of Pretoria. SAFARI-1 boasts a proud safety record having operated for over 59 years without any major incidents.

According to the IAEA, in addition to the current operating research reactors, a number of new research reactor programmes are being planned and developed. Necsa’s Multi-Purpose Reactor (MPR) being one of the reactors under development. Feedback from IAEA activities demonstrates the importance of highlighting the achievements of research reactors and exchanging experiences that contribute to a sustainable future where research reactors continue to positively impact society. Ensuring safety, security, adequate resources, managing ageing of the facilities and strategic planning, all lead to effective and sustainable operation and utilization. Challenges include effective leadership and management, spent fuel management, and the need to establish nuclear infrastructure for new research reactor programmes.

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