Thermosiphon Assembly for the Cold Neutron Source
at the NRC “Kurchatov Institute” – PNPI

In 2022 the Sosny R&D Company manufactured the thermosiphon assembly under the contract with the NPPMashTEK for the reconstruction of the laboratory building at the PIK research reactor complex (the NRC “Kurchatov Institute” – PNPI).

The thermosiphon assembly shall be put inside the reactor channel in the cold neutron source (CNS) of the PIK reactor.





Thermosiphon assembly

The CNS chamber is a unique, complicated product. Its single copy has been first developed for this specific cold neutron source.

The CNS chamber is the most loaded part of the thermosiphon assembly. It bears the extremely low temperatures and high radiation for a long time. The CNS chamber has the potentially explosive deuterium under excess pressure inside. The CNS chamber shall comply with the strict requirements for leak tightness.

This is a double-wall chamber. Each wall has a liquid deuterium inside which flows through the gap between the walls. The helium gas cools the liquid deuterium up to 20 K. The CNS chamber design considers the best efforts to minimize the chamber weight. Its walls have the minimum thickness, ensuring the required strength and resistance. The size and shape of the CNS chamber have been proved by the neutronic analysis and thermophysical analysis.

The complicated design and a lack of accurate calculation methods were grounds for the physical tests to prove design solutions. The test results demonstrate the bearing capacity margin, design reliability and quality of the CNS chamber.

The Sosny R&D Company developed specific welding procedures to manufacture the CNS chamber at its plant. These procedures were certified by the Eurasian Welding Certification Association that is an international voluntary certification system. One welder got the certificate of conformity from the Eurasian Welding Certification Society authorizing him to weld the aluminum alloys.


Thermosiphon Assembly



In 2022 the thermosiphon assembly was delivered to the NRC “Kurchatov Institute”.



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