The Pilot Demonstration Energy Complex (ODEK) with the BREST-OD-300 reactor, which is being built in Seversk is to have a digital twin. ODEK, being built under the Proryv (Breakthrough) project in Seversk, Tomsk Region, is intended to demonstrate a closed nuclear fuel cycle on a single site. When completed, it will comprise a fuel fabrication-refabrication module producing mixed uranium-plutonium nitride (MNUP) fuel, as well as the fuel reprocessing module and BREST, which is a lead-cooled fast neutron reactor. Completion of work under the contract is scheduled for 2024.

Separate parts of the digital twin system are ready: the AA Bochvar Research Institute of Inorganic Materials (VNIINM), the Snezhinsky Nuclear Centre and Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed the Wizart and Code TP software systems. These are calculation codes simulating the technological processes of closing the fuel cycle  including fuel fabrication and remanufacturing, used nuclear fuel reprocessing, and radioactive waste management from design and safety justification to decommissioning. The TP Code can also be used as a simulator in training ODEK operators, explained project manager, leading VNIINM expert Olga Schmidt. “The second software package, Wizart, is more of a predictive, conceptual model. We are developing it with a team of RFNC-VNIITF mathematicians and programmers.”

TP Code assists in managing production processes, and Wizart in coordinating production processes, design equipment, buildings and structures, plan staffing and workload of personnel, make economic calculations, and prepare data to justify nuclear and radiation safety using neutron physical codes, she noted. "TP Code is relatively easy to use. It is enough to be a good technologist to master it. With Wizart it is more difficult. Separate functions are easy to use, but to master the whole complex, you need serious qualifications. We are now trying to make it more user-friendly.” 

Meanwhile at the ODEK site construction of the reactor building is proceeding, the installation and piping of equipment is continuing in the fuel fabrication and refabrication module, electrical installation is underway, and the first part of the administrative building will be put into operation in the near future. The general contractor – JSC TITAN-2 – said work is on schedule. Some 400 specialists and more than 40 pieces of equipment are involved in the construction of the reactor building and neighbouring structures: these are mixers, tower cranes and a concrete-distributing boom and other equipment.

Image: BREST reactor under construction in Russia (Photo credit: TVEL)