Beloyarsk NPP BN-800 Fast Reactor Eefueling with MOX Fuel
Beloyarsk NPPROSATOM

Beloyarsk NPP BN-800 Fast Reactor Eefueling with MOX Fuel

Power unit No. 4 of the Beloyarsk NPP with the BN-800 reactor has been connected to the grid and resumed operations upon completion of the

Power unit No. 4 of the Beloyarsk NPP with the BN-800 reactor has been connected to the grid and resumed operations upon completion of the scheduled maintenance. For the first time the refueling has been carried out with uranium-plutonium fuel only. The first batch of 18 MOX fuel assemblies was loaded into the reactor core in January 2020, and now 160 assemblies more with fresh MOX fuel have been added (replacing the assemblies with enriched uranium). Thus, the BN-800 core is now one-third filled with innovative fuel. From now on, only MOX fuel will be loaded into this reactor.

The fuel assemblies were manufactured at the Mining and Chemical Combine (MCC, Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk region). Distinct from traditional nuclear fuel with enriched uranium, MOX fuel pellets are based on the mix of nuclear fuel cycle derivatives, such as oxide of plutonium bred in commercial reactors, and oxide of depleted uranium which comes from defluorination of depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF6), the so-called secondary tailings of uranium enrichment facilities.

The BN-800 reactor was initially launched with a hybrid core, partially loaded with uranium fuel produced by Elemash, TVEL’s fabrication facility in Elektrostal (Moscow region), and partially with experimental MOX fuel bundles manufactured at the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk region (NIIAR).

Serial batch-production of MOX fuel started in late 2018 at the site of the Mining and Chemical Combine. The launch of this unique highly automatized fabrication shop-floor had been provided due to the broad cooperation of Russian nuclear industry enterprises with the coordination role of TVEL Fuel Company, which is also the official supplier of the MOX fuel to Beloyarsk NPP.

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