Design approved for Russia’s Brest experimental fast reactor

7 January 2019

Glavgosexpertiza, Russia’s state body responsible for expert appraisal of design documentation and engineering projects, has approved the design documents of the experimental lead-cooled Brest-OD-300 fast reactor.

Brest forms part of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom's Proryv (Breakthrough) project to enable a closed nuclear fuel cycle. The Brest-OD-300 reactor plant with an on-site nuclear fuel cycle is part of an experimental demonstration power complex (ODEC) being built at the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC - part of Rosatom’s TVEL fuel company) in Seversk (near Tomsk).

The Chairman of Rosatom’s Supervisory Board of State Corporation, First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Sergey Kiriyenko and Rosatom General Director Alexei Likhachev congratulated the specialists of enterprises, scientific institutions and universities working on Proryv and said they hoped that plans for the creation of a new technological platform for nuclear energy will be implemented as soon as possible.

“It is necessary to achieve such technical and economic parameters of a closed nuclear fuel cycle that will ensure the development of large-scale nuclear energy and allow the industry to maintain its leading position in the export of nuclear power plants and nuclear technologies,” the message reads.

The first stage of the project is the construction of an on-site fuel fabrication module for the pilot industrial power complex to support Brest. Construction of the module was 46% complete by the end of 2018. More than RUB4 billion ($58m) has been spent on the module. In 2018, work was completed on the three main buildings and preparations are underway for the installation of the main process equipment. The launch of the fuel fabrication facility is scheduled for 2021.

The ODEC complex will include a fuel fabrication module for the production of dense uranium-plutonium (nitride) fuel, and a fuel recycling unit. The start date  for the construction of the Brest-OD-300 reactor has been postponed several times because of the need for additional testing of key reactor structural elements. RUB1.1 billion ($16.6m)  was allocated for additional R&D in 2017.

Photo: Overview of the demonstration power plant complex and reactor (Credit: Rosatom)

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