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Major Advances in Russian Nuclear Reactor Technology

Printable version / Version imprimable

EIRNS —World Nuclear News (WNN) reported Aug. 10 on "a Russian government decree published earlier this month that indicates the country plans to build 11 new nuclear power reactors by 2030 — including two BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors. The BN-1200 units are to be built at the Beloyarsk and South Urals nuclear power plants. ..."

According to this report, "the decree also approves building a facility to produce high-density U-Pu nitride fuel and the construction by 2025 of the BREST-OD-300, which is part of the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s `Proryv,’ or Breakthrough project, to enable a closed nuclear fuel cycle. The ultimate aim is to eliminate production of radioactive waste from nuclear power generation. The Breakthrough project comprises a fuel production/re-fabrication module for production of dense uranium plutonium (nitride) fuel for fast reactors; a nuclear power plant with a BREST reactor; and a used fuel retreatment module." Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ), part of the Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL, has also "announced the start of research and development work on the technical design of the `absorbent element’ of the core of the BREST-OD-300 reactor" WNN reported.

Russian nuclear technology also earned kudos in India where Russia has supplied the 1000MW VVER nuclear reactors for India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plants (KKNPP-I & II). M.R. Srinivasan, first chairman of the Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. (NPCIL) said: "Kudankulam NPP is incorporating the largest power unit in the Indian Electricity System, as each reactor is producing 1000 MW. Our other power units, nuclear or coal fired, are of smaller size. Therefore, Kudankulam means an important jump in the size of the power unit," he was quoted as saying by Russia & India Report today.

RIR also quoted R.S. Sundar, site director for Kudankulam NPP, telling journalists on Aug. 15: "I am very happy to share that we have recently completed 175 days of continuous operation of Unit 1 and its performance is excellent." Sundar said "almost 100,000 people visited the Kudankulam NPP site through various programs, and this helped us in making the public understand the safety of the Kudankulam NPP reactors clearly."