KAPSEL HARBOR /Crimea/, June 11. /TASS/. The use of new generation fast reactors in the nuclear power industry will enable Russia to reduce to a minimum the amount of harmful wastes, the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeyev, said on the sidelines of a youth culture and the arts forum Tavrida on Friday.
Earlier this month, the city of Seversk, the Tomsk Region, saw the beginning of construction of a unique fast reactor, BREST-OD-300 (experimental and demonstrational). It is a Russian-designed fast neutron reactor using lead as a heat transfer agent, equipped with a double-circuit steam supply system, and possessing supercritical steam parameters.
"The new reactors and closed-circuit concepts of using nuclear fuel will reduce the amount off radioactive wastes practically to nothing. Roughly speaking, the spent fuel will have a level of radiation no higher than the natural background there, where the uranium was mined," Sergeyev said.
He stressed that scientists considered nuclear power as ecologically clean, but certain phobias in society were still felt. In reality, the nuclear power industry does not produce greenhouse gases, and its radiation level is way below the natural background. The high reliability of new generation fast neutron reactors is a solid argument against the third fear over the risk of nuclear accidents, and prejudices against the dumping of nuclear waste.
"It is very good that in this respect [nuclear power industry development] Russia is the leader. According to the current plans, this facility (the reactor that has begun to be built in Seversk - TASS) is to go on stream by 2030," Sergeyev said.
Fast-neutron reactor project
The unique reactor BREST-300 has begun to be built under a project guideline called Breakthrough for creating a new technological nuclear power industry platform with a closed nuclear fuel cycle, and for resolving the problem of spent nuclear fuel. The project is being implemented on the premises of the Siberian chemical combine of Rosatom corporation. The project is expected to produce a competitive product capable of ensuring Russia’s leadership in the nuclear power industry.
Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachov earlier said that Rosatom hoped to begin the export of fast reactors and fuel processing modules in 2030-2040. Also, Rosatom’s organizations and three Russian universities will create a research consortium to devise education programs for instructing specialists from the European countries and China in the operation of new generation reactors or fast-neutron reactors.