Russia has reached two more milestones in its endeavour to close the nuclear fuel cycle. Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) – part of Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL – has completed acceptance tests of components for its ETVS-14 and ETVS-15 experimental fuel assemblies with mixed nitride fuel for the BREST and BN fast neutron reactors. MSZ has also announced the start of research and development work on the technical design of the “absorbent element” of the core of the BREST-OD-300 reactor.
Russia plans to construct 11 new nuclear power reactors (not including 5 under construction) by 2030 – including two BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors. The BN-1200 units are to be built at the Beloyarsk and South Urals nuclear power plants.
The decree also approves building a facility to produce high-density U-Pu nitride fuel and the construction by 2025 of the BREST-OD-300
The planned Beloyarsk 5 BN-1200 will use larger fuel elements than the BN-600 and BN-800 and have a simplified refuelling procedure. Russian nuclear engineering company OKBM Afrikantov is developing the BN-1200 as a next step towards future reactor designs, commonly known as Generation IV.