CAREM-25 is an integral type PWR in which all components of the primary circuit (NSSS, pressuriser, primary heat exchangers and coolant pumps) are included in a single pressure vessel (IEA/OECD (NEA)/IAEA, 2002). It is being applied in Argentina as a dual purpose plant for electricity and process heat for the extraction and purification of various minerals including sodium sulphate.

A concern for smaller reactors of traditional design is that the economies of scale militate against the economics. With an integral design, savings can be made by reducing the number of pressure loaded and load-bearing components. Considerable emphasis is placed on inherent safety features in the design, including passive shutdown systems and decay heat rejection.

In addition to the economic competitive features mentioned above, there is scope for design modularisation and factory assembly. The other characteristics of operation relating to proliferation, waste management, resource efficiency, flexibility of operation (process heat and co-generation) are similar to those of other current generation PWRs of comparable size and application.

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