Fuel Rod Designed For BREST-OD-300 Reactor

Russian nuclear fuel company TVEL FUEL (a subsidiary of Rosatom) said Tuesday that its Bochvar Institute research facility had developed fuel rod design based on nitride uranium-plutonium fuel (MNUP-fuel) for the BREST-OD-300 fast neutron reactor.

TVEL Fuel Co. photoTVEL said the fuel rod project will be applied for commercial manufacturing of nitride fuel, which will be launched as part of the Pilot Demonstration Energy Complex, which is under construction in Seversk, Tomsk region in south-central Russia.

Concurrently, ROSATOM’s Nuclear Fuel Division continues development of the second-generation fuel rods for the BREST-OD-300 with a higher burnout level, which will be used when MNUP fabrication will shift to the re-fabrication stage (meaning that irradiated fuel of the first load after irradiation and reprocessing will be used for fresh fuel fabrication).

“Pilot fuel assemblies with nitride fuel have been irradiated in the BN-600 reactor at the Beloyarsk NPP since 2014. Though the sufficient validated fuel burnout for the BREST initial load is 6%, in the course of the testing we have already achieved the 9% level. These results give us the grounds for the fuel rod endurance tests with 9-10% burnout”, said Mikhail Skupov, Deputy Director General of the Bochvar Institute.

It is hoped the nitride fuel project for the BREST reactor will put fuel development for the nitride core version of the next generation BN-12000M fast reactor on a fast track. Experimental fuel assemblies with BN-1200M-type fuel rods are scheduled to be loaded for endurance testing in the BN-600 reactor sometime in 2022, noted Alexander Ugryumov, Vice President for Research, Development and Quality at TVEL JSC.

The Siberian Chemical Combine (an enterprise of ROSATOM’s TVEL Fuel Company) continues the construction of the MNUP fuel fabrication/re-fabrication module as part of the Pilot Demonstration Energy Complex. On 10 February 10 2021, the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostechnadzor) issued a license to for construction of BREST-OD-300, the world's first power unit with a lead-cooled fast neutron reactor.

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