Rosatom has announced that the Unit 4 reactor at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant in Zarechny in central Russia, has entered into commercial status, after attaining 100 percent power in mid-August. The unit is a BN-800 fast neutron reactor. Outranking its sister-reactor, Beloyarsk Unit 3, it is now the most powerful such reactor in service.
The unit is part of a second generation of reactors at the plant that is home to two first generation Soviet reactors, which operated from 1964-1983 and from 1967-1989, respectively, the first of those being an AMB-100 reactor and the second an AMB-200 model. Both of those were supercritical water reactors.
The new reactor was issued its certification of compliance by regulatory agency Rostechnadzor, signaling its compliance with operational codes and with “requirements of energy efficiency,” Rosatom said, as reported by the World Nuclear Association.
The jump to commercial status has been a long time coming. The reactor was operable in June 2014, but Rosatom delayed pushing the unit into commercial service until a more advanced fuel was developed. It achieved a minimum power level for a second time in August 2015 and in November 2015. It was connected to the grid in December 2015.
The fuel is a mixture of uranium and plutonium oxides arranged to produce fuel while producing power.
Rated at 789 MWe, the BN-800 is now the most powerful fast reactor in service, out-muscling Unit 3 at the plant, a 560 MWe BN-60 reactor.
The unit is the 35th operating reactor in service in Russia, the WNA reported.
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