Beloyarsk NPP introduces unique system to control fast reactor core

30 May 2023

A domestic technology – sound detection system, “Visus” has been developed by Russian designers at the OKBM Afrikantov design bureau makes possible visual control of the core of the BN-800 fast reactor during refuelling. The new technology allows more thorough and efficient monitoring of the reactor core using sound waves similar to that used by dolphins and bats.

In BN type reactors, the coolant is liquid sodium metal, which means control systems for light water reactors are not useful. The system will serve as an additional check of the location of the fuel assemblies (TVS) and the control and protection rods and confirm the absence of foreign objects in the area of the active zone. It is an additional measure that increases the reliability of the BN-800 reactor.

The Visus system consists of two ultrasonic sensors and many reflectors. Some of the elements have already been mounted inside the reactor, and now work on the system is moving to the next stage.

“A stand is being mounted in the assembly building of the Beloyarsk NPP reactor, where Visus will be tested, said Ivan Sidorov, director of the Beloyarsk NPP. “After confirming the operability of a unique system, it will be installed at Beloyarsk 4, and in future the technology will also be used on [planned] serial power units with BN-1200M reactors.”

Image courtesy of Rosatom

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