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Home Location News Location Russia Accelerates Efforts to Build Advanced Nuclear Reactors

Russia Accelerates Efforts to Build Advanced Nuclear Reactors

- 2016-10-10 03:26:36

Under a government decree published in early August, Russia will build up to 11 new nuclear reactors by 2030, including two BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast-neutron reactors. Russia already has 36 operating reactors with a capacity of 27 GW, a fleet characterized by an assortment of reactor designs. According to the World Nuclear Association, four early VVER-440/230s are due to be decommissioned by 2020. The nation also has two later VVER-440 models, 12 VVER-1000 reactors, and a Gen III+ VVER-1200, which was put online on August 5 (Figure 1). Along with its VVERs, Russia has 12 RBMK light-water graphite-moderated reactors (the same design used at Chernobyl), four small graphite-moderated boiling-water reactors (due to be decommissioned in 2022), and two fast breeder reactors, the BN-600 and BN-800 (the latter of which came online last December). Approved by the Ministry of Energy, the August 1 decree calls for the construction of 11 new reactors, not including those that are already under construction at Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Novovoronezh, and Rostov, or Russia's floating reactor Academician Lomonosov . Many of the planned projects are first-of-their-kind models. The decree calls for construction of BN-1200 fast breeder reactors at the Beloyarsk and South Urals nuclear plants, based on experience from Russia's 789-MW Beloyarsk 4, which piloted the BN-800 design. It also approves construction of an experimental VVER-600 unit for the Kola plant, and seven VVER-TOI units—based on a design introduced in 2010 by Atomenergoproekt—at Kola II, Smolensk II, Nizhny Novgorod, Kostroma, and Tatar. Additionally, it approves the start of construction of the BREST-OD-300 fast-neutron reactor by 2025, as well as a facility to produce high-density mixed uranium-plutonium nitride fuel for the advanced reactor that will feature a closed nuclear fuel cycle.