Fuel production for the BREST and BN-1200 nuclear reactors will be held near Tomsk
SOCI, November 21 – RIA Novosti. The production facilities involved in the production of nuclear fuel for the Russian experimental BREST power reactor can be used to produce fuel for the future pilot commercial power unit with the large-capacity BN-1200 reactor, which is necessary for the development of domestic nuclear power. , said Natalya Nikipelova, head of the Rosatom fuel company TVEL.
Rosatom specializes in the technologies necessary for the transition to a competitive two-component energy system based on the closed nuclear fuel cycle (CFFC). The idea is to “pair” the operation of conventional pressurized water reactors with fast neutron reactors to solve the main problems that have accumulated in the industry – resource and environment. Thanks to the CNFC, the regeneration of nuclear “fuel” plutonium is expanding and the fuel base of nuclear power is increasing significantly, eliminating the need to extract large volumes of natural uranium.
The power unit, with a fast neutron reactor and sodium liquid metal coolant BN-1200, is designed to operate as part of a two-component nuclear power system. It is planned to build such a pilot unit at the Beloyarsk NPP in the Sverdlovsk region. The prototype of the BN-1200 was the power unit with the “fast” reactor BN-800, which is also currently operated at the Beloyarsk NPP.
The BN-800 is designed to run on the so-called mixed oxide uranium-plutonium MOX fuel, and the possibility of working with both MOX fuel and mixed nitride uranium-plutonium MNUP fuel is discussed for the BN-1200.
“What fuel will the future” fast “nuclear energy industry work with? international forum “Atomexpo-2022”, Nikipelova told reporters on the sidelines. Fuel should be ready both in terms of research and development and in terms of production capacity.
“We supply SNPs to the BREST-OD-300 reactor at the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk. How will fuel production be scaled up? As a fuel company, we believe it should be scaled in the same place,” Nikipelova said. aforementioned.
However, for commercial “fast” high-power reactors, there is a question whether the nuclear fuel cycle will be shut down at the station, that is, whether or not the fuel production and processing will be done at the same site as the power unit. geographically separated by the reactor.
“There is no definitive answer to this question yet. There are “for” opinions, there are “against” opinions. But in any case, we must be ready to produce this fuel, whether at the station or elsewhere. See a place at SCC, because we have a place there, and most importantly We have staff who know how to work with that kind of fuel.” said Nikipelova.
If another decision is taken, we will go to the place where the new power unit will be and we will produce fuel there.”
The TVEL chairman noted that no such decision has yet been made to increase the production of MOX fuel. Now the industrial production of this fuel continues at the Rosatom enterprise Mining and Chemical Combine in Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory.
Mixed nitride uranium-plutonium MNUP fuel based on nitrides (chemical compounds of nitrogenous uranium and plutonium) has a number of advantages in terms of both energy efficiency and safety. It was previously reported that reactor tests confirmed the safety of SNUP fuel.
The lead-cooled BREST-OD-300 reactor is designed for practical verification of the main technical solutions included in “fast” lead-cooled reactors in a closed nuclear fuel cycle and the main provisions of the inherent safety concept on which these solutions are based. based.
The power unit with BREST-OD-300 reactor with 300 MW of installed electrical capacity will be the main facility of the experimental demonstration power complex (ODEK) built at the site of Rosatom subsidiary Siberian Chemical Combine (SKhK). ) in Seversk, Tomsk Region.
ODEK also includes a complex for the production of mixed nitride uranium-plutonium nuclear fuel for the BREST-OD-300 reactor, as well as a complex for reprocessing spent fuel. The peculiarity of the complex is that it allows to create a closed nuclear fuel loop close to the station: this will make it possible not only to generate electricity, but also to prepare new fuel from the fuel discharged from the reactor core.
The BREST-OD-300 reactor is planned to be a prototype of the BR-1200 high-power “lead” fast neutron reactor.
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