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The training reactor VR-1 is a light water, zero power research reactor with enriched uranium. Its design satisfies the requirement of easy accessibility to the reactor core with respect to education students and training qualified staff for nuclear industry. The pool type arrangement assures quick and easy access to the reactor core, easy insertion and extraction of various experimental samples and detectors, simple and safe manipulation with fuel elements. Light water, used at the same time as the moderator, reflector and coolant, functions also as biological shielding, which enables access to the reactor during operation.

Because of its low power there is sufficient natural flow to take away the heat released by the fission of uranium in the reactor core without a pump, which has been installed anyway, to ensure better flow of water around fuel element tubes to prevent deposit formation on the fuel surface. The Reactor is operated at an atmospheric pressure at a temperature of about 20 °C (depending on the ambient temperature).