BN-350 reactor

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Aktau nuclear power plant
Shevchenko BN350 desalinati.jpg
BN350 desalination unit. View of the only land-based nuclear-heated desalination unit in the world.
Coordinates43°36′25″N 51°16′59″E / 43.607°N 51.283°E / 43.607; 51.283Coordinates: 43°36′25″N 51°16′59″E / 43.607°N 51.283°E / 43.607; 51.283
Construction began1964
Commission date1973
Decommission date
  • 22 April 1999
Nuclear power station
Reactor typesodium-cooled fast reactor (BN350)
Reactor supplierAtomenergoproekt
Power generation
Make and modelKharkov Turbine Plant
Units decommissioned1 × 135 MW
Shevchenko BN-350 nuclear fast reactor and desalination plant situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea. The former plant could generate 135 MWe and provide steam for an associated desalination plant. View of the interior of the reactor hall.

The BN-350 was a sodium-cooled fast reactor located at Aktau Nuclear Power Plant. The power plant was located in Aktau (formerly known as Shevchenko in 1964–1992), Kazakhstan, on the shore of the Caspian Sea. Construction of the BN-350 fast breeder reactor began in 1964, and the plant first produced electricity in 1973. In addition to providing power for the city (135 MWe), BN-350 was also used for producing plutonium and for desalination to supply fresh water (120,000 m³ fresh water/day) to the city.

The project lifetime of the reactor officially finished in 1993, and in June 1994, the reactor was forced to shut down because of a lack of funds to buy fuel. By 1995, the plant's operating license had expired. The facility continued to operate far below capacity until reactor operations ceased in 1999, when plutonium-bearing spent fuel stopped being produced.

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