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Russia Can Build a New Fast Neutron Reactor within 10 Years
June 29, 2017 21:57


 Currently, Rosatom is conducting examination of the finalized design of the BN-1200 Reactor.
Rosatom may build a new fast neutron reactor BN-1200 within 10 years from the moment of taking the decision on its implementation. The decision may possibly be taken this year, the chief designer of the BN reactors, Sergei Shepelev reported.

"We have developed "a road map" of the BN-1200 project construction, and if we follow this document upon deciding to build BN-1200 this year, then in 2027 we can launch reactor power start-up with bringing it into commercial production afterwards," -
he said on the sidelines of the International Conference on Fast Neutrons Nuclear Reactors and their Fuel Cycles FR17 ​​in Yekaterinburg.

The main advantages of fast neutron reactors are their expanded fuel base, higher operational safety and foolproof disposal of the longest-lived isotopes in spent fuel. At the same time, neutron moderators – such as water, for example - should not participate in the reaction, and the reactor must be cooled with special materials, such as sodium or lead.

In addition, special design solutions are required for the construction, and the cost of construction and operation is higher than that for usual reactors.

Presently, Rosatom is conducting the examination of the finalized BN-1200 project. As a result of refinement, its technical and economic characteristics have been improved, with its safety enhanced.

This makes it possible to position BN-1200 as the 4th generation reactor, Mr. Shepelev said.
The results of the examination will be considered at two profile sections of the Rosatom Scientific and Technical Council (STC), which will conclude on the prospects for the development of the new fast neutron reactor.

"The meeting of the relevant sections of STC is planned to take place in July. The examination results and the project itself will be considered and certain decisions will be taken in its process" – Mr. Shepelev said, when asked about the timing of the meeting.
He reminded that following the results of the first examination of the project results, the relevant sections of the Rosatom STC approved the BN-1200 project, but they suggested that its economic characteristics were improved. At present, the technical design of the BN-1200 Reactor, turbo-units and materials of the power unit project are ready.

Russia is the only country that has two fast neutron reactors - BN-600 and BN-800 - put into commercial operation. They are installed at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant in the Sverdlovsk Region. The developed BN-1200 Reactor is more powerful. The project of a closed-loop nuclear fuel cycle is planned to be implemented by means of this fast neutron reactor.

Along with Russia, the projects of fast neutron reactors are being actively developed in China, India and France. Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mikhail Chudakov reported in the framework of FR17 ​​that other countries want to join the project.

"Fast reactors are reactors of the future, because they can make fuel for themselves - from the fuel components of existing" thermal. Just a small additive is needed", – Mr. Chudakov pointed out. According to him, fast neutron reactors will be able to solve issues with the accumulated spent nuclear fuel.


Sources: http://tass.ru 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Fast Neutron Reactor     

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