'Today we have started the realisation of a distinctively new project. We are trying to combine a schematically operational nuclear plant reactor with a 'tokamak' to create a hybrid reactor,' Kovalchuk told RIA Novosti at the 'Open Innovations' Forum in Moscow, referring to a type of fusion reactor design. 'This kind of project is open to our colleagues, first of all, to the Chinese.'
According to the Director of the Kurchatov Institute, a thermonuclear reactor is a fairly distant perspective, whereas a hybrid reactor is possible. 'We have a national program for the development of fusion, this program is conducted by Rosatom as the contracting entity, and the Kurchatov Institute plays a key role,' said Kovalchuk.
At another event, the 25. International Conference on Fusion Energy (FEC-2014), held in St. Petersburg, Academian Yevgeny Velikhov, President of the Kurchatov Institute, made a report which also took the initiative to create a hybrid reactor.
'For us at the Kurchatov Institute 'hybrid' is understood as the union of fission and fusion. Among the fundamental principles of such a reactor is a guarantee of safety for the environment. Secondly, as much as possible, it uses existing fuel and produces much less waste. Hybrid systems can rightly be called 'green' – they allow you to avoid what happened in Chernobyl or Fukushima,' said the Academician.
Velikhov is one of the initiators of the ITER project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor). ITER is a fusion reactor to demonstrate and explore the thermonuclear technology for peaceful and commercial purposes. The total cost of the project and the construction work is estimated at 13 billion euros. These funds are allocated to the seven main project participants representing 35 countries. Equity participation in the program is about 10 per cent.