Russia plans to increase the share of nuclear produced energy to about 23% of total energy production for the whole country, and to about 32% for European Russia, by 2020.
The plan is to achieve this by commissioning 2 GW of capacity a year after 2013 through the construction of standardized nuclear reactors. With funding that is guaranteed, Russia should have 32.3 GW of new nuclear capacity by 2020 – with additional funding, this would rise to 38.1 GW – while 3.7 GW of nuclear capacity would be decommissioned.
Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) has decided to focus on the development of fast neutron reactors (FNRs) to provide the Generation IV component of its future nuclear energy policy. FNRs are designed to burn uranium 238 (U-238) while conventional reactors, such as pressurised water reactors (PWRs), use uranium 235 (U-235) as their fuel.
Rosatom points out that no less than 86.7% of the energy potential of Russia’s natural resources is contained in U-238, while coal contains 8.7%, gas 3.4%, oil 0.8% and U-235 a mere 0.4%. The Russian group also has some 30 years of experience in operating the sodium-cooled BN-600 FNR, which was preceded by the BN-350, BR-5/10 and BN-1/2 FNRs (the last operating during the 1950s). The BN-600 has a capacity of 600 MWe and provides power to the grid and is expected to operate until 2020. Rosatom is now busy with its next FNR, the 880 MWe capacity BN-800, which is expected to enter operation in 2014. However, over the next decade at least, Rosatom will continue to build PWRs (known as VVERs in Russia).
World Nuclear Association on Russian nuclear plans
10 reactors are being built now
The BN800 is a fast breeder that is being built.
14 reactors are in the planning stage
The Brest and the SVBR 100 are fast breeders. If the SVBR 100 is successful that would lead to factor mass produced fast breeder reactors.
30 more reactors are proposed
The BN 1200 is a proposed large fast breeder reactor.
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