Russian plans to build a metal-cooled small modular fast reactor have taken a step forward with the signing of contracts to develop, manufacture and supply steam turbines for both experimental and commercial units.
Power engineering company KomplektEnergo was selected by AKME-Engineering to carry out the turbine work following a competitive process which concluded at the end of 2012. The contract which the companies have now signed includes steam turbine equipment and its associated control system plus other related equipment for the SVBR-100 reactor. The finished turbine equipment is to be delivered to the construction site for the pilot SVBR-100 at Dimitrovgrad in the first quarter of 2016, and installed and commissioned in the first half of 2017.
The 100 MWe 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 module itself would sit inside a tank of water to provide passive heat removal and shielding. The module would be factory-built and could be shipped by rail, road or water to its destination, where multiple modules could be installed depending on local needs. The output from the multi-function reactor could be used to supply heat, industrial steam and water desalination as well as electricity generation.
The SVBR-100 concept has already been used on seven Russian Alfa-class nuclear submarines as well as in experimental installations on land. The reactor would be able to operate with various forms of nuclear fuel including uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) and nitride fuels. Using uranium oxide fuel enriched up to 16.8% the reactor would be able to operate for 7-8 years between refuelling. When operating with MOX, it would be able to operate within a self-supported closed fuel cycle.
Joint stock company AKME-Engineering was set up by Rosatom in 2009 to develop and commercialise the SVBR-100. According to AKME-Engineering the pilot unit is scheduled for construction in 2015-2016, with first power in 2017 and commercial production of complete sets of the modular reactor beginning in 2019.