Decommissioning IIN-3M reactor at Uzbekistan's RTC

17 April 2020

Decommissioning the IIN-3M reactor at Uzbekistan’s Radiation and Technological Complex (RTC) began in 2015 and ended in 2019. The objective of decommissioning is to remove all sources of radioactivity, contaminated material, and other structures so the site can be used for other purposes. 

The IAEA offers support and expertise to countries to ensure that they are well prepared to handle decommissioning safely and securely.

Currently, it is standard practice to incorporate a decommissioning plan into the initial setup of a research reactor, but that was not the case in the 1970s when the IIN-3M reactor and many others were built.

The decommissioning process involved taking apart the equipment piece by piece, such as the reactor vessel; eliminating surface contamination and ensuring safe radiation levels; and removing layers of concrete that were used in the reactor box. The IAEA supported each step of the process.

Once the decommissioning process was complete, the IAEA supported a survey of the site, upon request by the Government of Uzbekistan, to check for safe levels of radioactivity. Results showed that the decommissioning was successful as no significant residual radioactivity was found.