Russia upgrades key fast neutron critical stand in Obninsk

24 April 2019

Russia’s AI Leipunsky Institute of Physics and Power Engineering in Obninsk has begun commissioning of a upgraded complex of critical stands (BFS) to better conduct research on nuclear safety. “The upgraded BFS complex is a modern laboratory for carrying out experiments necessary for the development of nuclear energy. We intend it to be used for the programme of experiments for advanced projects such as the BN-1200, ”said Pavel Zaitsev, General Director of Science and Innovation, the Scientific Division of state nuclear corporation Rosatom. Under the Federal Target Programme “Nuclear Power Technologies of the New Generation”, work was carried out to re-equip the BFS critical stands which are used for modelling the reactor cores of new generation designs. The facilities have been expanded, the technologies improved, and modern measuring equipment was installed to ensure high-performance accuracy and reliability of experiments. The modernization has extended the life of the complex by 40 years.

Rosatom Deputy Director General for Innovation Management Yury Olenin said: “The BFS is not only a unique stand, but also represents a unique team, and   already there is a queue of international contracts for work at IPPE. High quality is required on the international market, and the upgraded BFS-1 is ready to provide it. ”

The complex of fast neutron physical stands (BFS) is currently the only experimental tool for full-scale modelling of fast reactors such as the BN, BREST, SVBR. It is planned to conduct experiments, the results of which are needed, for example, to substantiate the reliable and safe operation of the BN-800 fast neutron reactor at unit 4 of the Beloyarsk NPP with a core fully loaded with mixed oxide (mox) fuel. With the help of this reactor, a number of technologies necessary for the development of the nuclear power industry of the future will be developed. The BSF stand is unique in the world, said IPPE Director Andrey Goverdovsky. As a result, IPPE already has a three-year order book, most of which are foreign contracts with China, France, and South Korea.

BN-1200 project is for a commercial power unit with a fast neutron reactor designed for operation in a closed nuclear fuel cycle (CNFC). As part of the Breakthrough project, the construction of the BREST-OD-300 reactor plant is also planned to develop a number of new CNFC technologies. In addition MBIR, the world's most powerful multi-purpose fast neutron research nuclear reactor now under construction in Russia will also be used to develop and test fourth-generation reactor and CNFC technologies. 



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