Research & Development

Russia / Decision On BN-1200 Fast Reactor Scheduled For 2022, Says Rosatom

By David Dalton
7 November 2019

Decision On BN-1200 Fast Reactor Scheduled For 2022, Says Rosatom
R&D on the design of Russia’s BN-1200 fast neutron reactor is scheduled to be complete before the end of 2021 and in 2022 state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom will decide whether or not to go ahead with construction, a conference heard.

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.

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