Russia seeks partners for its SVBR project

15 November 2016

Russia is considering asking foreign partners to join its development of the Generation IV SVBR 100 reactor design, but has denied reports that the cost of the project has more than doubled. State nuclear corporation Rosatom Deputy Director General for innovation management, Vyacheslav Pershukov, said discussions about finding possible partners had begun and would continue into 2017. The original cost of the project was put at RUB15bn ($226m). At the end of 2014 the media reported that the estimated cost had increased to RUB36bn. Pershukov noted that since then, the cost of the project has not changed.

The SVBR 100, a lead-cooled fast reactor, is one of six designs chosen by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) for its programme of research and development into the next generation nuclear energy systems. The SVBR 100 features a fast neutron spectrum, high temperature operation, and cooling by molten lead or lead-bismuth eutectic, low-pressure, chemically inert liquids with very good thermodynamic properties. It would have multiple applications including production of electricity, hydrogen and process heat.

It is a large-scale high-tech pilot project for Russia’s nuclear industry which is being implemented with the participation of private capital. The public-private company "AKME-engineering" was created in 2009, owned equally by Rosatom and En + Group Irkutskenergo. Pershukov said that a potential partner may be "any who receives permission from our government, including foreign partners”. In 2015, AKME-engineering registered its trademark SVBR in the USA, the European Union and China in preparation for the commercialisation of the project.

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