Rosatom approves SVBR-100 detailed design review

5 October 2015

The Scientific and Technical Council (STC) of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has approved the results of an expert review for the detailed design of the SVBR-100 fast reactor facility and for the design of a pilot production power unit (PPPU) with an SVBR-100 reactor.

The PPPU is to be built AKME-engineering, a joint venture between Rosatom and private company Irkutsenergo. The SVBR-100 is a small, modular, fast-neutron reactor using lead-bismuth cooling with a net output of 100MWe. The prototype SVBR-100 unit is scheduled to start operating in 2019.

"The task of the experts was to check the feasibility of the technical concepts used in the design and their compliance with safety regulations, and to prepare proposals for improving the competitiveness of SVBR-type reactor facilities and series units with such facilities", a report by AKME-engineering says. The expert review confirmed the "absence of any scientific and technical problems which would make it impossible to complete the detailed designs and to obtain the PPPU construction licence". STC approved the expert review results and recommended that the expert guidance and the requirements placed by markets on new-generation small and medium nuclear plants should be taken into account in the activities under the PPPU project and in further commercialisation of the PPPU technology.

Earlier in September, Vyacheslav Pershukov, deputy director general and director for innovations management at Rosatom, told journalists that the initial costing plans for the SVBR-100 project "turned out to be more optimistic than it is in actual fact", adding the project participants were not happy with this cost. In October 2014, he had said the total cost had increased to RUB36bn ($532m). However, Rosatom is not seeking new partners to implement the project but was in discussions with Irkutskenergo on the way forward.

In August, Akme-engineering received a patent from the USA for the SVBR-100 nuclear reactor trademark. The company said it wanted to protect its intellectual property in preparation for construction of a prototype SVBR-100 unit at the Research Institute for Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad in the Ulyanovsk region. The trademark has already been registered in the European Union and South Korea

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