The head of Russia’s Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor), Aleksey Alyoshin, on 10 February signed a licence for the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC – part of Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL) in Seversk to begin construction of the lead-cooled Brest-OD-300 fast reactor.

The licence had previously been expected in December 2019 and then in June 2020, but this had been subject to delays.

Brest-OD-300 is a key element of the pilot demonstration power complex (ODEK), which also includes a module for fabrication/refabrication of mixed nitride uranium-plutonium nuclear fuel, as well as a module for processing irradiated fuel. It is part of the Proryv (Breakthrough) project.

The complex will make it possible to demonstrate and in-site closed nuclear fuel cycle, and will not only to generate electricity, but also to produce new fuel from the fuel discharged from the reactor core.

During the period of the expert safety justification for the pilot demonstration power unit, new federal norms and rules were developed, taking into account the specifics of the project, Rostechnadzor said. These included requirements for the design and safe operation of the reactor unit vessel, equipment and pipelines of a nuclear installation with a lead coolant; and requirements for justifying the strength of the unit vessel reactor, equipment and pipelines of nuclear installations with lead coolant.

Some 16 Rosatom standards were approved and put into effect, detailing the requirements and ensuring that all the features of the Brest-OD-300 were taken into account.

Two days earlier, TVEL President Natalya Nikipelova told reporters that construction work on the Breakthrough project was continuing at SCC, with work underway on a cooling tower and auxiliary facilities.

The general contractor for the construction of Brest-300 is Concern Titan-2, the contract value is RUB26.3 billion. Last year Rosatom said it planned to launch the reactor and supporting fuel cycle facilities 2026.