The Kurchatov Institute (Russian: Hациональный исследовательский центр "Курчатовский Институт" (since 2010) i.e. (Russia's) National Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute"; 1991-2010: Роcсийский научный центр "Курчатовский Институт" — Russian Scientific Centre "Kurchatov Institute") is Russia's leading research and development institution in the field of nuclear energy. In the Soviet Union it was known as I. V. Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (Russian: Институт Атомной Энергии им. И.В. Курчатова), abbreviated KIAE (Russian: КИАЭ). The Kurchatov Institute is located at 1 Kurchatov Square, Moscow. It is named after Igor Kurchatov.
Until 1955 known under a secret name "Laboratory No. 2 of the USSR Academy of Sciences", the Kurchatov Institute was founded in 1943 with the initial purpose of developing nuclear weapons. The majority of Soviet nuclear reactors were designed in the Institute, including the on-site F-1, which was the first non-American nuclear reactor to sustain criticality. Since 1955 it was also the host for major scientific experimental work in the fields of thermonuclear fusion and plasma physics. In particular, the first tokamak systems were developed there, the most successful of them being T-3 and its larger version T-4. T-4 was tested in 1968 in Novosibirsk, conducting the first quasistationary thermonuclear fusion reaction ever. Until 1991, the Ministry of Atomic Energy oversaw the Kurchatov Institute's administration. After the transformation into the State Scientific Center in November 1991, the Institute became subordinated directly to the Russian Government. According to the Institute's Charter, the Institute's president is appointed by the prime minister based on recommendations from Rosatom. In February 2005 Mikhail Kovalchuk was appointed director of the institute.
In February 2007 the Kurchatov Institute won the tender to be the main organization coordinating efforts in nanotechnology in Russia.
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