CAREM is a small modular reactor for electrical power generation currently under construction near the city of Zárate, in the northern part of Buenos Aires province besides the Atucha I Nuclear Power Plant.
The reactor was integrally designed by CNEA ( National Atomic Energy Commission), being the first power reactor designed by the country. It is basically a simplified pressurized water reactor (PWR) designed to have an electrical output of 25MW for the first prototype, 100MW in the following one. It is an integral reactor – the coolant system is inside the reactor vessel – so that the entire plant operates at the same pressure. This design minimizes the risk of loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCA). Its fuel is uranium oxide with a enrichment of 3.4% that needs to be replaced annually. The primary coolant system uses natural circulation, so there are no pumps required, which provides inherent safety against core meltdown, even in accident situations.