The 800th Power Unit of Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant (NGS) in Russia with BN-4 fast reactor was connected to the grid and resumed electricity generation after the scheduled maintenance was completed.
The 800th Power Unit of Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant (NGS) in Russia with BN-4 fast reactor was connected to the grid and resumed electricity generation after the scheduled maintenance was completed. After a recent refueling, the BN-800 core was loaded, for the first time in history, with MOX fuel, a purely uranium-plutonium mixture.
The fuel bundles were completed at the Mining and Chemical Factory Complex in Zheleznogorsk, in the Krasnoyarsk Region of Eastern Siberia.
Unlike conventional nuclear fuel containing enriched uranium, MOX fuel pellets consist of a mixture of nuclear cycle byproducts. This mixture contains plutonium-produced oxide from commercial reactors and depleted uranium oxide from the defluorination process of depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF6), secondary waste from uranium enrichment plants.
The first serial MOX fuel batch was loaded into the BN-2020 core in January 800. A year later, the power plant received its first full MOX refueling. After two full MOX refuels, all uranium fuel bundles were replaced with innovative MOX fuel.
Alexander Ugryumov, TVEL A.Ş. Senior Vice President of Research and Development, said:
“The full conversion of the BN-800 to MOX fuel is a long-awaited milestone for the nuclear industry. For the first time in the history of Russian nuclear power, we are switching to the operation of a fast neutron reactor with all uranium-plutonium fuel and a closed nuclear fuel cycle. This is the main reason and purpose of the development of the BN-800 and the establishment of the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom's unique automated fuel production facility in the Mining and Chemical Factory Complex. Advanced technologies for the recycling of fissile materials and the regeneration of nuclear fuel will make it possible to expand the stock of nuclear energy raw materials, reprocess irradiated fuel instead of storage, and reduce the amount of waste.”
Mass production of MOX fuel started in late 2018 at the Mining and Chemical Factory Complex site. The launch of this unique, highly automated production division was made possible thanks to the cooperation of Russian nuclear industry enterprises with the coordination of TVEL fuel company, which is also the official supplier of MOX fuel of Beloyarsk NPP.