I n t r o d u c t i o n
One of the oldest research reactors, WWR-M reactor started operating in December, 1959, in at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PNPI) at Gatchina. Since then it normally operates without replacement of the tank. Russia's concern for this reactor as a neutron source significantly increased when many research reactors were shut down after the USSR break-up. The construction of a new high-flux reactor PIK is currently in progress at PNPI. According to expert estimations 70% of the work has already been done. However, the economical situation in Russia makes it difficult to estimate the date of completion. By this reason the institute took a decision to modify the capabilities of WWR-M reactor to meet new standards of security requirements, and to prolong its operation.
TheWWR-M reactor is located in the Neutron Research Department (NRD) of PNPI. The institute has developed infrastructure and a large mechanical workshop for manufacturing experimental equipment. A cryogenic station for production of liquid nitrogen and helium is located 800 m away from the reactor. The institute is situated in a wood region about 3 km from Gatchina and 50 km from St. Petersburg. The institute facilities are: a canteen, a hotel (100 places), a sport center with a swimming pool. Bus and railway lines provide transportation to St. Petersburg. The institute welcomes scientists and collaborates with many institutes of Russia and abroad.