Energy Central

Oil & Gas 360 Publishers Note: Providing energy while being good stewards of the environment extremely is important. Elevating humanity from poverty with available, low cost, energy is one of the key reasons look at a market driven balanced approach to energy sources. All of that being said; extending a nuclear by 15 years may be the best green solution to low cost energy. 

Rosatom, the state owned enterprise that operates the BN-600 fast reactor that is in commercial service, says it has submitted the paperwork needed to support a request to extend the reactor’s life from 2025 to 2040 at which point it would be 60 years old.

According to the proposal, extending the life of the reactor by 15 years would displace the burning of 33 million tonnes of coal on fossil fueled power plants.

BN-600 Life Extension to Seek 2040 Date - Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station - oilandgas360

Main building of Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station as seen from the Beloyarskoye Reservoir near Zarechny, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. Beloyarsk has the largest fast breeder reactor (BN-600) of the world and is currently building another one (BN-800). As of 2007 it is the only commercial nuclear powerplant of the Urals and the oldest Russian commercial nuclear powerplant still in use. Besides the BN-600 it also has 2 older graphite reactors, which were shutdown in the 1980s and 1990s.

The two-stage process of life extension involves technical and economic feasibility analysis and justification. The technical stage will evaluate safety requirements for reactor components that cannot be replaced over the entire service life of the plant.

A modernization program that began in 2009 replaced the steam generator and made unspecified safety upgrades.

The economic analysis will address the cost of running the plant and the payments it receives for the generation of electricity. as Unit 3 of the Beloyarsk nulear power plant.

The BN-600 is a sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor which started operation in 1980. (Gen_IV Briefing – Operating Experience of the BN-600 – PDF file)

BN-600 Life Extension to Seek 2040 Date -oilandgas360-fig 1

World Nuclear News reports that the sodium-cooled BN-series fast reactor plans are part of Rosatom’s Proryv, or ‘Breakthrough’, project to develop fast reactors with a closed fuel cycle whose mixed oxide (MOX) fuel will be reprocessed and recycled.

In addition to the BN-600 reactor, the 789 MWe BN-800 fast neutron reactor – constructed as Beloyarsk unit 4 – entered commercial operation in October 2016. This is essentially a demonstration unit for fuel and design features for the larger BN-1200 being developed by OKBM Afrikantov.


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