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Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute (MIFI or MEPhI)

  • Location
    Moscow, Russia
  • Type
    Nuclear-Education and Training
  • Facility Status
    Operational

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Established in 1942 by Soviet atomic bomb program director Igor Kurchatov, MIFI has grown into a premier institute for the study of nuclear engineering and nuclear physics. 1 The university conducts research and development in support of and by the Russian federal government. The main research areas include general and nuclear physics, nuclear technologies and engineering, physical and technical problems of energy, and fuel and energy. 2

MIFI departments house a nuclear research reactor, radiation-accelerator center, and other research laboratories. Built in 1967 for educational, training, and research purposes, the Atomic Center research reactor is a pool-type IRT research reactor, which has been deemed suitable for conversion to LEU fuel. 3 The IRT-MIFI reactor holds partnerships with many foreign research institutions and U.S. nuclear laboratories, including Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Sandia, Brookhaven, and Pacific Northwest. 4 The Radiation-Acceleration Center is devoted to new sources of ionizing radiation, and studying the effects of radiation. Originally established for preparation to enter Soviet military or nuclear programs, MIFI still maintains close research and business relationships with the Russian defense and nuclear industries.

In partnership with Rosatom, and to enhance safety and security at Russian nuclear facilities, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration assisted in creating degree programs for Materials Protection Control and Accounting in 1996. MIFI was a key developer of the MPC&A degree program, and has since awarded several such degrees. 5 6

Glossary

Atomic bomb
Atomic bomb: See entry for Nuclear weapon
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.
Low enriched uranium (LEU)
Low enriched uranium (LEU): Refers to uranium with a concentration of the isotope U-235 that is higher than that found in natural uranium but lower than 20% LEU (usually 3 to 5%). LEU is used as fuel for many nuclear reactor designs.
Radiation (Ionizing)
Radiation that has sufficient energy to remove electrons from substances that it passes through, forming ions. May include alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, x-rays, neutrons, high-speed electrons, high-speed protons, and other particles capable of producing ions.

Sources

  1. “История” History, Национальный Исследовательский Ядерный Университет (НИЯУ) Московский инженерно-физический институт (МИФИ) National Nuclear Research Institute (NIIaI) Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute (MIFI), www.mephi.ru.
  2. “Основные научные направления” General Scientific Directions, Национальный Исследовательский Ядерный Университет (НИЯУ) Московский инженерно-физический институт (МИФИ) National Nuclear Research Institute (NIIaI) Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute (MIFI), www.mephi.ru.
  3. International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, “Moscow State Engineering Physics Institute Member Page,” www.icra.it.
  4. “Ядерный центр” Atomic Center, Национальный Исследовательский Ядерный Университет (НИЯУ) Московский инженерно-физический институт (МИФИ) National Nuclear Research Institute (NIIaI) Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute (MIFI), www.mephi.ru.
  5. Daniel Horner, “Russia, U.S. Taking New Steps Toward HEU Phaseout” Platts Nuclear Fuel, vol. 33 no. 21, 20 October 2008.
  6. NNSA press release, “U.S., Russia Celebrate Graduation of Nuclear Security Experts,” 24 February 2011, www.nnsa.energy.gov.

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