BN-800 fast reactor fully loaded with mox fuel

23 June 2022

The BN-800 fast reactor at unit 4 of Russia’s Beloyarsk NPP will be fully loaded for the first time with innovative uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (mox) fuel. The unit was disconnected from the grid on 20 June for scheduled refuelling, maintenance and preventive maintenance of equipment. The work will include major repairs with the replacement of the removable part of the main circulation pump, maintenance, medium or current repairs of pumps, heat exchangers, steam generators and a turbogenerator, said Mikhail Roslyakov, Deputy Chief Engineer for the Beloyarsk NPP repair. “In addition, in-service inspection of the metal and welded joints of pipelines will be carried out, as well as tests of the shell tightness control system using a metrological assembly,” he noted.

The most important work will be the loading of uranium-plutonium mox fuel. “Prior to this, for half a year, the BN-800 operated at a 60% load of the core with mox fuel,” explained Ivan Sidorov, director of the Beloyarsk NPP. “After the current refuelling, for the first time in the history of global nuclear energy, a fast reactor will be fully operated on fuel from a mixture of depleted uranium and plutonium.”

Image: The BN-800 at Beloyarsk 4 (photo courtesy of Rosatom)

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