Engineering surveys have begun at Russia’s Beloyarsk NPP site, which will form the basis for the Investment Feasibility Study (OBIN – Obosnovaniya Investitsii) for the construction of the world's first 1,200 MWe fast neutron power unit. The BN-1200M is planned to be constructed as unit 5 at Beloyarsk, which already hosts the 600 MWe (unit 3) and 800 MWe (unit 4) sodium-cooled fast reactors, which began operation in 1980 and 2015.
The surveys, which are being undertaken by specialists of JSC Orgenergostroy, will investigate the geodetic, geological, hydrometeorological and environmental characteristics of the site. JSC Orgenergostroy won the tender for the work, which was announced at the end of 2022 by the general contractor for the design Beloyarsk 5, Atomenergoproekt (part of Rosatom’s Engineering Division). The customer of the work is the concern nuclear utility Rosenergoatom.
“The subcontractor will conduct research on technogenic conditions, analysis of the aviation situation, assessment of the suitability of the site for the possible placement of the power unit according to water conditions, and a number of other surveys,” said Alexander Andreev, Design Director at Atomenergoproekt. “We will use the results in compiling the OBIN.”
Under the terms of the contract, engineering surveys at the site should be completed in May. The compilation and approval of the OBIN is scheduled to be completed in December. The Beloyarsk 5 project involves the construction of a BN-1200M fast neutron reactor with a sodium coolant. This is an evolutionary BN (fast sodium - bistri natriyevii) design. It is a Generation 4 reactor with passive safety systems and is expected to be competitive in capital costs with VVER reactors of similar capacity.
Images: Top left - The Beloyarsk nuclear power plant site; Bottom right - The BN-1200M reactor (courtesy of Rosatom)