Russia's AKME-Engineering is now licensed to provide construction services for nuclear power plants, in preparation for the construction of a pilot heavy metal-cooled reactor.
Russian regulator Rostechnadzor has issued the licence to the joint stock company set up by Rosatom in 2009 to develop the SVBR-100 metal-cooled integral fast reactor. AKME-Engineering is tasked with designing, constructing and commercialising the 100 MWe modular reactor.
A training simulator for the SVBR-100 has been operational since March, and a pilot unit is scheduled to enter operation in 2017. The pilot unit is to be built at the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR) at Dimitrovgrad.
AKME-Engineering director general Vladimir Petrochenko explained that the licence enables the company to render nuclear power construction services to operating organizations. AKME-Engineering itself will be the operating organization for the Dimitrovrad pilot plant, and the company will now need to obtain various licences for the construction of the Dimitrovgrad pilot plant.
The SVBR-100 is an integral reactor design, in which all the primary circuit - the reactor core itself as well as steam generators and associated equipment such as main circulating pumps - sits inside a pool of lead-bismuth coolant in a single vessel. The factory-built module could be shipped by rail, road or water to its destination where it could be used to supply heat, industrial steam and water desalination as well as electricity generation. Several modules could be co-located to provide a larger power station. The reactor concept has already been used on seven Russian Alfa-class nuclear submarines as well as in experimental installations on land.