BN-1200 reactor

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The BN-1200 reactor is a 1200 MW sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor project, under development by OKBM Afrikantov in Zarechny, Russia, and the design was originally planned to be complete by 2017. In 2015 Rosenergoatom postponed construction "indefinitely" to allow fuel design to be improved after more experience of operating the BN-800 reactor, and amongst cost concerns.[1]

Goals are enhanced safety (IV generation) and a breeding ratio of 1.2 to 1.3–1.35 for mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel and 1.45 for nitride fuel. Based on the BN-600 reactor, the core would use greater size fuel elements and require a simplified refueling procedure compared to BN-600 and BN-800 reactor. Boron carbide would be used for in-reactor shielding. Thermal power should be nominal 2900 MW with an electric output of 1220 MW. Primary coolant temperature at the intermediate heat exchanger is 550 °C and at the steam generator 527 °C. Gross efficiency is expected to be 42%, net 39%. Safety enhancements are the elimination of outer primary circuit sodium pipelines and a passive emergency heat removal. Projected unit service life is 60 years. OKBM expects to commission the first unit with MOX fuel in 2020, then eight more to 2030. SPb AEP also claims design involvement. It is intended to be a Generation IV design and produce electricity at RUR 0.65/kWh (US 2.23 cents/kWh), and Rosenergoatom is ready to involve foreign specialists in its design, with India and China particularly mentioned. Rosatom's Science and Technology Council has approved the BN-1200 reactor for Beloyarsk, possibly to be operational about 2020. Early in 2012 Rosatom said two such units would be built there, either BN-1200 or BN-1600, along with possibly a BREST-300 unit.

In June 2012, the construction of the first BN-1200 had been approved by the Sverdlovsk region government, at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant. The technical design of the BN-1200 is scheduled for completion by 2013, while the manufacture of equipment will start in 2014. Construction of the Beloyarsk unit was set to begin in 2015.[2]

The World Nuclear Association lists the BN-1200 as a commercial reactor, in contrast to its predecessors.[3]

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