Rosatom forms fast reactor JV

4 January 2010

Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and the largest private energy company in Russia, En+ Group have established a joint venture to design and build a prototype fast reactor within the next decade.

Known as OAO AKME-engineering, the 50/50 venture will design and produce a prototype 100MW lead-bismuth fast reactor (SVBR-100) with a view of commercializing the technology.

The JV’s short-term plans include completing the R&D for the project and producing a detailed design of the pilot reactor and principal equipment and also obtaining necessary licenses. A pilot power generating unit based on SVBR-100 technology is scheduled to be commissioned around 2019.

Nuclear power plants with SVBR reactors may be crucial for providing power to remote and detached regional consumers; this technology could be installed in mobile (floating) nuclear power plants complemented by sea water conversion units.

International Atomic Energy Agency estimates show that up to 1000 small-to-medium reactors could be launched in the period till 2040. The SVBR technology could account for 10% to 15% of the global nuclear power market of small-to-medium capacity.

“This is a pilot high-tech project to be implemented by the Rosatom State Corporation and a Russian private entity on a 50/50 basis. We think it’s an opportunity for us to use the huge groundwork we’ve done in the field of fast reactors and make it a commercialized and competitive product. We’re glad to see private investors in this country, who take the long view amid the economic crisis and who are ready to invest into new technologies that can take a significant share of the global market, once the crisis is over. We expect the government to provide a strong support of this high-tech project implementation. It will be put on the list of the projects under the aegis of the RF President’s Commission For Long-Term Development”, Rosatom deputy director general Peter Shchedrovitskiy said.

En+ Group CEO Vladislav Soloviev commented: “High-tech power generation projects and designs are the priority investment targets for En+ Group and EuroSibEnergo. We believe that the development of the nuclear power industry is one of the most promising ways to meet the rising demand for energy, with the lowest environmental impact in mind.”

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