NCBJ competences and involvement in nuclear-power-related R&D programmes
Since its inception in 1956 Świerk research centre has been developing competences in nuclear power and its physical foundations. That pace slowed down somewhat once the decision was made to abandon construction of the Żarnowiec nuclear power plant, R&D centre of gravity was shifted towards medical applications and material science research.. However, after Polish government decision made on January 13, 2009 to start the Polish Nuclear Power Programme, Świerk-based Institutes immediately started to get ready to support that programme. Merger of the IEA Institute with the IPJ Institute into NCBJ (National Centre for Nuclear Research, the largest R&D Institute in Poland hiring over 1000 employees) was a breakthrough point. European funding has significantly helped to bring new blood to the staff and to modernize research/technical infrastructure. Collaboration with international organizations (MAEA, Euratom, SNETP, OECD NEA), leading research centres abroad (especially French CEA), and reactor manufacturers has been intensified. The Vysegrad-4 for Generation-4 Reactors (V4G4) association has been called into being jointly by NCBJ and some Institutes from Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia; the association main objective is to develop new reactor technologies. To-day NCBJ teams are dominated by young people led by some highly experienced older experts. NCBJ operates and is continually developing some unique research facilities (the MARIA reactor, Material Testing Lab, other) and a supercomputer (Świerk Computer Centre). NCBJ actively participates in numerous European programmes, and co-ordinates one of them (on nuclear co-generation). Currently NCBJ research potential is utilized mainly in international collaboration. Objective of this report is to present capabilities of NCBJ’s involvement in development of the first nuclear power in Poland.