02.11.2016_No217 / News in Brief

Russia’s Beloyarsk-4 Fast Neutron Reactor Begins Commercial Operation

Plant Operation

2 Nov (NucNet): Russia’s BN-800 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor at the Beloyarsk-4 nuclear power station began commercial operation on 31 October 2016, Russian nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom said in a statement.

The Beloyarsk nuclear power station

The 789-MW reactor unit, near Yekaterinburg in Sverdlovsk Oblast, was connected to the grid on 10 December 2015.

Since then, operators have been gradually increasing the reactor’s power levels as part of the operational testing phase. Full power was achieved in August 2016.

Before issuing the licence for commercial operation, Russia’s nuclear regulator Rostechnadzor carried out a series of tests confirming the unit’s compliance with the national regulatory framework, the statement said.

Beloyarsk-4 is Russia’s first reactor of the BN-800 design and uses mixed uranium-plutonium fuel. Construction began in 2006.

There is one commercially operational reactor at the Beloyarsk station, the Beloyarsk-3 BN-600 fast neutron unit, a smaller version of the BN-800.

There are also two permanently shut-down light-water reactors at the site.

Russia is considering further expansion of the Beloyarsk station with the construction of Unit 5, an even larger 1,200-MW fast neutron reactor, but according to recent reports a decision depends on the operational results of Beloyarsk-4.

According to Rosenergoatom, Russia now has 35 nuclear reactor units in commercial operation.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Testing Complete At Russia’s Beloyarsk-4 BN-800, Says Rosatom (News in Brief No.177, 07 September 2016)

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NucNet

Editor:

Kamen Kraev

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