The 30KW Miniature Neutron Sources Reactor (MNSR) is a light water cooled and moderated research reactor that runs on 900 grams of 90% highly enriched uranium (HEU). 1 China supplied the reactor to Iran in 1991, and it first reached criticality in 1994. 2 The China National Nuclear Corporation supplied the reactor’s fuel. Iran uses the reactor for neutron activation analysis. 3
- Research reactor
- Research reactor: Small fission reactors designed to produce neutrons for a variety of purposes, including scientific research, training, and medical isotope production. Unlike commercial power reactors, they are not designed to generate power.
- Highly enriched uranium (HEU)
- Highly enriched uranium (HEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of more than 20% of the isotope U-235. Achieved via the process of enrichment. See entry for enriched uranium.
- Critical: A state where the number of neutrons in each period of time, or generation, remains constant. When a nuclear reactor is “steady-state,” or operating at normal power levels for extended periods of time, it is in this state.
- Neutron: An uncharged particle with a mass slightly greater than that of the proton, and found in the nucleus of every atom heavier than hydrogen-1.
- “Iran: Map and Chart,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, www.carnegieendowment.org.
- “Iran: Nuclear Research Reactors of the World,” International Atomic Energy Agency, www.iaea.org.
- “Nuclear Research Reactors in the World, Research Reactor Details - ENTC MNSR,” International Atomic Energy Agency, www.iaea.org.