Russia to build 11 new nuclear reactors by 2030

10 August 2016

A Russian government decree published yesterday indicates the country plans to construct 11 new nuclear power reactors by 2030 - including two BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors. The document, which covers "territorial planning for energy" for the period, also identifies six points for radioactive waste disposal.

The 11 units do not include those already under construction - Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Novovoronezh and Rostov - or the floating reactor Academician Lomonosov. The BN-1200 reactors are to be built at the Beloyarsk and South Urals nuclear power plants.

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 fast neutron reactor. BREST-OD-300 is part of Russian state nuclear corporation'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.

In addition, the decree approves construction by 2030 of a VVER-600 unit for the Kola nuclear power plant and a total of seven VVER-TOI units at the sites of the following nuclear power plants - Kola II, Smolensk II, Nizhny Novgorod, Kostroma and (the planned) Tatar.

Russian nuclear engineering company OKBM Afrikantov is developing the BN-1200 reactor as a next step towards future reactor designs. The reactor was scheduled to start commercial operation in 2025, depending on experience of operating the pilot Beloyarsk 4, a 789 MWe fast-neutron reactor of the BN-800 design.

Atomenergoproekt announced the VVER-TOI (typical optimised, with enhanced information) design in 2010. This design has an upgraded pressure vessel, increased power to 3300 MWt and 1255-1300 MWe gross (nominally 1300), improved core design to increase cooling reliability, further development of passive safety with 72-hour grace period requiring no operator intervention after shutdown, lower construction and operating costs, and 40-month construction time. It will use a low-speed turbine-generator.

The decree, which is dated 1 August, includes approval of near-surface disposal facilities for radioactive waste of the third and fourth classifications (low- and intermediate-level waste). They are to be hosted by Ural Electrochemical Integrated Plant (48,000 cubic metres); Mayak (100,000 cu m); and Siberian Chemical Combine (200,000 cu m).

A 50,000 cu m sub-surface disposal facility for low- and intermediate-level waste has also been approved for Sosnovy Bor, in the Leningrad region.

Finally, deep burial disposal facilities have been approved for the Nizhnekansky granitoid rock massif in the Krasnoyarsk region - 4500 cu m for the first classification of radioactive waste and 155,000 cu m for the second classification.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News