A US DOE Delegation Visits Beloyarsk NPP (April 12, 2012)
A Press Release by the Center for Public Information
Beloyarsk NPP, April 12, 2012
A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) delegation visited the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) on April 11, 2012. The delegation, headed by Mr. Peter Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, also included Mr. Peter Hanlon, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Fissile Materials Disposition, and other management-level officials and experts from DOE and the Idaho and Los Alamos National Laboratories.
The delegation visited the working BN-600 unit and the BN-800 construction site. During a meeting with the NPPs’ senior management, the guests were briefed on technical and economic accomplishments in operating the BN-600 reactor and updated on progress in constructing the BN-800 reactor.
The DOE representatives were interested in how safe operation of fast reactors was organized. Many of the questions asked concerned opportunities for material science research into construction materials, testing of different types of fuel in fast reactors, and the prospects for international cooperation in this area.
The delegation participants also showed a lot of interest in future development of fast reactors in Russia and the development of a closed-loop nuclear fuel cycle.
“Russia possesses extremely useful experience in fast reactor operation,” Peter Lyons, the head of the U.S. delegation, asserts. “One of the objectives of our visit is to look into the possibilities for cooperation between our two countries in the area of civil nuclear energy.”
The Beloyarsk NPP began operation in April, 1964. It was the first nuclear power plant in the country’s atomic energy sector, and is the only one with different types of reactors on one site. The AMB-100 and AMB-200, the first slow-neutron reactor units at Beloyarsk, were shut down due to resource exhaustion. The BN-600, the world’s only fast-neutron reactor with industrial scale capacity, is operational. A BN-800 fast-neutron reactor unit is currently under construction. Fast-neutron reactors are destined to considerably broaden the nuclear energy fuel base and minimize radioactive waste by development of a closed-loop nuclear fuel cycle.
Current information on the radiation environment in the environs of the Beloyarsk NPP and of other nuclear facilities in Russia can be obtained from the http://www.russianatom.ru web site.