CAREM-25 construction in Argentina (Source: CNEA)

Argentina has poured first nuclear concrete for a domestically-designed 25 MWe integrated pressurised water reactor known as CAREM-25.

The prototype reactor began construction in Lima, Buenos Aires on February 8, 2014. Construction is expected to be complete in around three years, with first fuel loading scheduled for the second half of 2017.

The project is expected to cost 3.5 billion Argentine pesos ($450 million).

CAREM-25 was designed by Argentina’s national atomic energy commission Comision Nacional De Energia Atomica (CNEA) and engineering company INVAP.Around 70% of the components and services for CAREM-25 will be supplied by Argentine companies.

Last year saw the award of a contract for the manufacture of the CAREM reactor pressure vessel to domestic engineering company IMP SA. The reactor vessel, designed by CNEA, will be 3.5 metres in diameter, 11 metres high and will weigh 200 tons.

Photo: CAREM begins construction on 8 February 2014 (Source: CNEA)