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Russia / Environmental Regulator Approves BN-1200 Fast Reactor Deployment At Beloyarsk

By Kamen Kraev
28 May 2024

Construction of Generation IV nuclear plant could begin in 2027

Environmental Regulator Approves BN-1200 Fast Reactor Deployment At Beloyarsk
The Beloyarsk nuclear power station in central Russia where the new Generation IV fast reactor will be built. Courtesy Rosatom.

Russia’s environmental regulator Rosprirodnadzor has given the green light for the deployment of the BN-1200 fast neutron reactor at the Beloyarsk nuclear power station in central Russia.

State nuclear corporation Rosatom said the move followed and ecological investigations and public consultations at the end of 2023.

Rosatom said Russia’s nuclear regulator is reviewing the full set of documents needed to issue a deployment licence for BN-1200.

BN-1200, or Beloyarsk-5, will be a sodium-cooled fast neutron Generation IV reactor. No final investment decision has yet been announced.

In April 2023, engineering surveys began at Beloyarsk as part of an investment feasibility study for the deployment of the BN-1200.

The surveys examine the geodetic, geological, hydro-meteorological and environmental characteristics of the site, which already hosts two smaller fast reactors, the BN-600 at Beloyarsk-3 and BN-800 at Beloyarsk-4.

Russia announced the BN-1200 project in 2009 and completed basic design in 2012.

In 2015, Russia delayed the construction of the BN-1200 unit to no earlier than 2020, as Rosatom said it needed to improve the reactor’s fuel and reassess the economic viability of the project.

Subsequently, the projected start date for the construction was deferred to 2025, with the anticipated conclusion of the necessary research, development, and design efforts targeted for 2022.

In early 2024, Ivan Sidorov, head of the Beloyarsk nuclear station, was quoted by the station’s official gazette as saying that construction of BN-1200 is scheduled to start in 2027.

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