ABU DHABI, October 30. /TASS/. Russia’s civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom expects to enter the market with new technologies in the next 10-12 years to offer fast neutron reactors for closed nuclear fuel cycle projects, Rosatom Head Alexei Likhachyov said at an IAEA ministerial conference on Monday.
"Closing the nuclear cycle will allow peaceful atom to become an environmentally safe energy source with a practically inexhaustible resource for many thousands of years. There are all the grounds to believe that such a comprehensive product will be offered to the market in the next 10-12 years. According to the nuclear industry’s standards, this should occur practically by tomorrow," Likhachyov said.
Considering its available accumulated scientific and technological potential, Rosatom believes that a closed fuel cycle "is already not a distant prospect," the Rosatom head said.
Reactors with a closed fuel cycle help reduce the increase of spent nuclear fuel and numerously involve regenerated fuel components in the nuclear fuel cycle, Likhachyov said.
"Today Rosatom pays special attention to the development of such areas - we are creating production capacities for spent nuclear fuel reprocessing on the territory of Russia and are developing new uranium/plutonium fuel for the return of reprocessed products to the nuclear fuel cycle," the Rosatom chief stressed.
Russia is the sole country where two fast neutron reactors, the BN-600 and the BN-800, have been launched into industrial operation at the Beloyarsk NPP in the Sverdlovsk Region in the Urals.
The BN-1200 currently under development is a more powerful reactor. This reactor is expected to help implement the project of a closed nuclear fuel cycle.
China, India and France are also actively developing fast neutron reactor projects along with Russia. IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov earlier said that other countries also wanted to join the fast neutron reactor project.