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The end of nuclear waste?

While exporting gas, Russia proceeds in the next generation full-cycle nuclear reactors

Russia’s ‘Breakthrough’ energy project enables closed a nuclear fuel cycle and a future without radioactive waste. The first batch of MOX nuclear fuel has been manufactured for the world’s only NPP industrially power generating breeder reactors.”

A world first, tablets of the fuel of the future have been put on serial production and are destined for Russia’s next generation BN-800 breeder reactor (880 megawatts), currently undergoing tests at the Beloyarskaya nuclear power plant. The production line, now undergoing start-up and adjustment, was assembled in a mine 200 meters underground and will become fully operational by the end of 2014.”

Fast fission reactors solve the problem of depleted uranium nuclear fuel on the planet. They can ‘burn’ not only ‘classic’ uranium-235, (scarce and already coming to an end), but also uranium-238, which is abundant, and expands the world’s nuclear fuel capacity by an estimated 50 times. Fuel for breeder reactors could even be made from nuclear waste, which from an ecological point of view is a priceless advantage.

The GKhK facility will be equipped with a unique dissolvent reactor that will break down nuclear waste containing plutonium and extract plutonium dioxide to be used in MOX-fuel production.”

Also, while producing electric energy, breeder reactors actually generate more fissile material, and that one also can be used as nuclear fuel. The GKhK plant is Russia’s leading full nuclear fuel cycle complex, processing nuclear waste from power generating nuclear reactors to establish future nuclear fuel ring closure.

Russian physicists have already elaborated the next step for the revolutionary technology: a BN-1200 breeder reactor that is set to be assembled at the same Beloyarskaya nuclear power plant by 2020. Overall, eight BN-1200 breeder reactors are expected to be constructed by 2030, which means that Russia is the only nation that is entering a new era of nuclear energy power generation – the closed nuclear fuel cycle, in other words truly clean and practically unlimited nuclear power generation.

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