Russian institute unveils physical model of BN-1200 fast neutron reactor core

15 December 2023

Specialists at the AI Leipunsky Institute of Physics & Power Engineering (IPPE – part of Rosatom) in Obninsk have launched a physical model of the active zone of the BN-1200M fast neutron reactor unit using the complex of fast physical stands (BFS) at the institute. “This was assembled in record time – in less than two months. Typically, such tasks require about 4-5 months, said Alexander Zhukov, head of the BFS complex. “We manually collected more than 4,700 fuel rods, which made it possible to successfully complete the critical mass set and go into critical condition. This was achieved thanks to the first-class work of the entire team of the BFS critical stands.”

The BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast reactor is planned to be built as unit 5 of the Beloyarsk NPP in the Sverdlovsk Region. Two units are currently operating at the plant – unit 3 with the BN-600 fast reactor and unit 4 with the BN-800 fast reactor.

The critical assembly of the BFS-90-1 in its size is the largest critical assembly ever put together both at the BFS complex and in the world. Previously, the most elaborate critical assembly assembled at the BFS complex, was the model of the active zone of the BN-600 reactor installation, which consisted of about 3,250 fuel rods.

IPPE is a world leader in the development of fast neutron reactors and continues to work on the reactors themselves as well as the direct conversion of electric energy. This will keep the BSF complex busy for many decades and provide opportunities for young people to prove themselves in research and writing dissertations.

There are also plans to establish a training research laboratory based on the BSF complex involving co-operation bringing together IPPE, the Obninsk branch of National Nuclear Research University MEPhI, and the International Scientific & Educational Centre Obninsk Tech. Young people will have the opportunity to come to the facilities of the institute to carry out their research work.

The complex of fast physical stands, including two critical stands – BFS1 and BFS2will provide a unique experimental base for studying the physics of fast reactors, solving their safety problems, optimising active zones, burning actinides and disposing of weapons-grade plutonium. During the operation of the stands over more than 50 years, IPPE scientists have gained extensive experience in their operation and experimentation. The stands have been used to study models of Russia’s BOR-60, BN-350, BN-600, BN-800 and lead-cooled BREST as week as China’s CEFR. Fast reactor fuels have also been investigated.

Image courtesy of IPPE

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.