The research nuclear reactor RG-1M, a modernized heterogeneous type reactor No. 1, was launched in March 1970. Its main task was industrial activation analysis.
The reactor was serviced by 20 specialists from the Laboratory of Atomic Nuclear Methods of Analysis.
In June 1970, the first industrial analyzes were carried out in the new laboratory. Geographically, it was located four kilometers from Norilsk, at the foot of Mount Gudchiha.
At the reactor, an activation analysis of ores samples, concentrates, tailings, slags was carried out for the content of rare earth and non-ferrous metals. This was done by irradiating the ore and further analysis on a spectrometer. That method was more accurate than others. In addition, for a number of elements, it was the only possible one.
The reactor operated until 1998. For those 30 years, there wasn’t a single accident or release of a radioactive cloud on it.
In September 1999, the spent nuclear fuel from the reactor was shipped by sea to Murmansk, and then further to the Chelyabinsk region, to the Mayak production association, a state-owned enterprise for the disposal of radioactive waste.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive