Rosatom’s Vladimir Asmolov told Atomeco 2019 in Hungary that Russia now believed the cost of building fast reactors with a capacity of 1,200 MW will be comparable to the cost of the VVER-1200 reactors that Rosatom is already building in Russia and abroad.
“In our strategy, 2022 is defined as a fork in the road, a decision point for the construction of BN-1200,” he said.
Russia has two sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor units in commercial operation at Beloyarsk in central Russia – Beloyarsk-4 of the BN-800 design and Beloyarsk-3 of the smaller BN-600 design.
In 2015, Russia said construction of the planned BN-1200 unit had been postponed until at least 2020, with state nuclear operator Rosenergoatom citing the need to improve fuel for the reactor and questioning the project’s economic feasibility.
Rosenergoatom had planned to build two BN-1200 units at Beloyarsk with commercial operation scheduled by 2025. But construction also depended on the results of operating the pilot Beloyarsk-4 BN-800 plant, which began commercial operation in October 2016.