Pioneering Progress: ROSATOM Unveils BREST Reactor Installation

ROSATOM
ROSATOMImage Source: ROSATOM

Synopsis:

ROSATOM marks a historic milestone with the initiation of the BREST-OD-300, the world’s premier fourth-generation lead-cooled fast reactor. Installed at the Pilot demonstration energy complex in West Siberia, the reactor's innovative design emphasizes natural safety. Weighing 165 metric tons, the steel baseplate and the containment structure are key components. The project, a core element of ROSATOM's strategic "Proryv" initiative, aims for a 300 MW nuclear power plant with facilities for closed nuclear fuel cycles.

Article:

In a groundbreaking achievement, ROSATOM has commenced the installation of the BREST-OD-300, a revolutionary fourth-generation lead-cooled fast reactor. Located at the Pilot demonstration energy complex in Seversk, West Siberia, this endeavor signals a pivotal moment in nuclear energy innovation.

The reactor's structural foundations, including the formidable steel baseplate with a weight of 165 metric tons, have been successfully positioned. Accompanying this feat, the initial section of the reactor vessel—the lower tier of the containment—has been meticulously loaded into the reactor shaft.

The containment structure serves as the outer layer of the reactor vessel, ensuring the retention of heat-insulating concrete. This forms an additional barrier of protection around the coolant circuit, with strict temperature controls not exceeding 60 degrees Celsius and a radiation background matching the natural environment.

At the heart of this ambitious project lies a 300 MW nuclear power plant, driven by the lead-cooled BREST-OD-300 fast reactor. Notably, this reactor adheres to the principles of "natural safety," diverging from traditional light-water VVER thermal reactors. Its integral layout features a metal-concrete structure with cavities for primary circuit equipment, gradually filled with concrete during construction.

Vadim Lemekhov, Chief Designer of the BREST-OD-300 reactor unit and General Designer of the "Breakthrough" project team, commented on the distinctive attributes of the BREST reactor. Unlike its counterparts, the BREST vessel's larger size requires assembly at the construction site, a departure from the conventional delivery of fully assembled vessels.

The Pilot demonstration energy complex stands as a testament to ROSATOM's strategic "Proryv" project, focusing not only on the power unit but also encompassing a closed nuclear fuel cycle. This includes facilities for the fabrication of uranium-plutonium nitride fuel and the reprocessing of irradiated fuel.

Conclusion:

The initiation of the BREST-OD-300 reactor installation signifies a major leap forward in nuclear technology. ROSATOM's commitment to "natural safety" and innovative reactor design positions this project at the forefront of global nuclear advancements. As construction progresses, the Pilot demonstration energy complex is poised to play a pivotal role in ROSATOM's strategic initiatives, contributing to the evolution of nuclear energy solutions and emphasizing sustainable practices.

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