Rosatom has listed the result for 2023 of the state programme: “Development of Engineering, Technologies & Scientific Research (RTTN Razvitii Tekhniki Tekhnologii I Nauchnikh Issledovanii) in the field of the use of atomic energy in the Russian Federation”.

The programme, launched in 2020, was designed by Rosatom together with the National Research Centre the Kurchatov Institute, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Science & Higher Education. Initially, it was designed to run until 2024, but was extended for another six years. The programme consists of five major federal projects.

  • New Nuclear Energy aimed at creating new types of next-generation reactors.
  • Construction of the multi-purpose fast neutron research reactor MBIR (Mnogotselevoi Bistrii Issledovatelskii Reaktor) under construction at the Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad – 55% complete.
  • Thermonuclear fusion and plasma technologies including the T-15MD tokamak at the Kurchatov Institute. the small tokamak T-11M, located in TRINITI, and design of the Russian Fusion Power Demonstration Reactor.
  • Accident tolerant fuel.
  • The development of technologies for the serial construction of nuclear power units including new VVER-TOI reactors.

According to the 2023 results Rosatom’s organisations completed more than 80 R&D projects as part of the programme. The current degree of readiness of capital construction for the first federal project is 53%, the second 55%, the third 44%, and the fifth 51%.

Achievements within the first project included progress on the lead-cooled Brest-OD-300 fast reactor and supporting closed fuel cycle complex; preparations for construction of a 1200 MWe sodium-cooled fast reactor at Beloyarsk NPP; and the start of work on the first ground-based low-powered NPPs with RITMN reactors in Yakutia.

The second project saw installation of the main equipment for the MBIR reactor and the Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network, designed to provide access to MBIR for scientists from BRICS countries.

In the field of development of thermonuclear and plasma technologies (third federal project), the main event was the demonstration of holding plasma with thermonuclear temperature of electrons in the T-15MD tokamak for more than two seconds. Key components were manufactured for other fusion facilities including ITER.

Within the framework of the fourth federal project, scientists from Rosatom, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Kurchatov Institute as well as university specialists, are developing new materials including special steel and as well as samples of carbido-silicon fibres and mock-ups of fuel elements based on silicon carbide.

For the development of VVER technologies (fifth project), scientists created industrial samples of elements of the reactor vessel, intracranial devices and welded elements from new structural steels. During the construction of Kursk-II NPP with VVER-Toi reactors, new approaches were used to reduce construction time and improve economic performance.

Other developments in 2023 included the manufacture of products from a new brand of corrosion-resistant steel with enhanced strength properties; development of a preliminary design for a research liquid-salt reactor as the basis for the development of liquid-salt technology and will further create a full-scale liquid-salt reactor to burn minor actinides. In addition, a whole line of new 3D printers was created for printing products from ceramic and polymer composite materials needed in nuclear energy.

Over the three years of the RTTN programme so far Rosatom completed more than 150 state contracts for research and development. Key developments that are already being introduced in the nuclear industry include robotics technologies, new materials and printing technologies.

Image courtesy of Rosatom