31 Jan 2022

Regulation of thermonuclear facilities safety

In recent years, the growth of interest is observed with regard to perspective technologies of thermonuclear fusion, as to alternative energy sources, the operation of which does not cause carbon dioxide emission to the atmosphere.

Both in the Russian Federation and abroad, a considerable progress has been achieved in the development of controllable thermonuclear fusion technologies, and a number of essentially different thermonuclear facilities designs, being prototypes of future thermonuclear power plants, is in the process of implementation. Nowadays, the largest project aimed at thermonuclear fusion study is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) sited in France. The first plasma production in the mentioned reactor is planned for the year 2025.

The Russian Federation also develops designs of thermonuclear facilities in frames of the national program "Development of Nuclear Power Generation Complex", aimed to ensure fine-tuning of ITER project technologies. One of such designs is the thermonuclear installation "TOKAMAK T-15MD" of the RRC "Kurchatov Institute".

However, the current legislation does not specify such a class of facilities named as "thermonuclear installations", and the regulatory documents lack safety requirements considering the specific features and typical safety concerns of such installations.

The SEC NRS has elaborated a road map for the development of a legal and regulatory framework in the field of atomic energy use for regulation of safety of thermonuclear facilities, which envisages introduction of amendements to the Federal Law "On the Use of Atomic Energy", and to the regulatory legal acts of the Government of the Russian Federation and Rostechnadzor, as well as development of a number of documents at the level of Federal Safety Regulations in the field of atomic energy use.


Andrey Kirkin
Scientific and Engineering Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Safety Russia (SEC NRS)