Russia’s 789-MW Beloyarsk-4 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor is scheduled to reach full power during May 2016 and begin commercial operation in the autumn, the state-operated RIA Novosti news agency said. Full testing of the BN-800 unit, in Sverdlovsk Oblast, central Russia, was completed at 50 percent of design capacity in February 2016, nuclear operator Rosenergoatom said. Earlier this month state nuclear corporation Rosatom said the unit would run on mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel by 2019. The reactor is currently burning a hybrid mix consisting of fuel based on uranium oxide and about 20 percent MOX, a statement said. Rosatom said operation with MOX fuel assemblies has already been tested at the commercially operational Beloyarsk-3 BN-600 fast neutron reactor, a smaller version of the BN-800. Russia is considering further expansion of the Beloyarsk station with the construction of Unit 5, an even larger 1200-MW reactor. But last week reports in Russia said no decision had been taken on whether to go ahead with construction of the BN-1200 and it will depend on the results of operating Beloyarsk-4.
Nucnet 21st March 2016 read more »