Cost of BREST fast reactor construction estimated at $1.3 bln, says Rosatom

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SEVERSK /Tomsk Region/, June 8. /TASS/. The cost of the project for the construction of a 300 MW nuclear power unit with an innovative lead coolant BREST-OD-300 fast reactor that began at the site of the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk, Russia’s Tomsk Region, within the framework of Rosatom’s strategic project ‘Breakthrough’ (Proryv) on Tuesday, is estimated at around 100 bln rubles ($1.3 bln), Proryv research supervisor Yevgeny Adamov told TASS.

“[Cost of the project is estimated at] around 100 bln rubles,” he said.

The high cost of the project is particularly due to the growth of prices for materials, Adamov explained. “The price of the metal, and not only [metal], increased multi-fold in half a year,” he said.

According to the planned timeline, the BREST-OD-300 reactor should start operating in 2026, Rosatom said. A fuel production facility will be built by 2023, and the construction of an irradiated fuel reprocessing module is scheduled to start by 2024.

The reactor will run on mixed uranium-plutonium nitride fuel (MNUP fuel), specially developed for this facility. The power plant will make an integral part of the Pilot Demonstration Energy Complex (PDEC) — a cluster of three interconnected unique facilities, including the nuclear fuel production plant (for fabrication and refabrication), the BREST-OD-300 power unit, and the facility for irradiated fuel reprocessing. The advantage of fast reactors is their ability to efficiently use the fuel cycle’s secondary byproducts (in particular, plutonium) for energy production.

The experimental demonstration power complex is being built within the framework of Rosatom’s Proryv strategic project, which is aimed at creating a new technological platform for nuclear energy. Russia’s strategy in the sector entails the creation of a two-component nuclear power industry with thermal and fast neutron reactors and a closed nuclear fuel cycle. This envisages the widespread introduction of technologies for the recycling of nuclear materials.