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Perspectives of development and
implementation of closed fuel cycle
Ponomarev-Stepnoy N.N., Rosenergoatom Concern OJSC;
Zrodnikov A.V., Koltun O.V., VNIIAES OJSC

IX International scientific and technical conference of
Rosenergoatom Concern OJSC (MNTK-2014)
Plenary session. 21 May 2014, Moscow

Energy-related challenges of 21st century
• Global consumption is increasing due
to population growth and living
standards raising;
• Developing countries demonstrate
outstripping energy demand growth
rates;
• Fossil fuel resource shortfall is
increasing with a subsequent growth of
fuel prices;

• Environmentally hazardous releases of
the carbon-based energy generation
are increasing.

Доля затрат на первичные энергоисточники в
мировой экономики
12%
10%

Область неустойчивой экономики

8%
6%
4%
2%
0%
1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

It is necessary to augment the use
of energy resources of all types
with an outstripping growth of
renewables and nuclear power.

1

2

The unique feature of the nuclear power, namely,
its capability to reproduce nuclear fuel

is the key aspect in any evaluations of prospects of
its use.
1

3

Objectives of the nuclear power as part of the energy strategy of
Russia


Improvement of national fuel balance,



Increasing the share of high-tech and science-intensive products both in GDP
and the export,



Drastic solution of the greenhouse gas emission problem.

To achieve these objective it is planned to:


Augment the national nuclear energy generation share aggressively,



Promote a leading position of Russian power industry complex within the
global structure of nuclear power industry and its fuel cycle



Incorporate nuclear power in energy-intensive industrial technologies in the
future.

1

4

Requirements to nuclear power industry and its fuel cycle
1. Guaranteed safety

2. Economical efficiency and competitiveness at internal and
external markets
3. No limitations in regard to a raw materials base for а
historically significant time span – a more efficient utilization of
natural uranium
4. SNF and RW management – a reduction of SNF accumulation
rate, SNF reprocessing, plutonium recycling, safe RW confinement

5

1

Main indicators of nuclear power development
Installed capacity, MW

Output, bln. kW-h
50 000

350
300

40 000

29 152

31 803

34 078

2012

2013

2014

2015

2020

2025

2030

44 628

27 321

10 000

25 242

20 000

25 242

30 000

25 242

255

199

186

50

172

173

100

170

150

230

200

346

250

0

0
2012

2013

2014

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2035

NPP share in the Russian Federation energy balance
25,0%
20,0%

21%
17%

17%

16%

17%

18%

15,0%

1

10,0%
5,0%

0,0%
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035

6

Systemic problems of the existing nuclear power

Short-term challenge: waste accumulation
Continuously growing volumes of SNF and RW
Long-term challenge: limitations related to fuel
resources
Low efficiency of beneficial use of mined natural
uranium – less than 1%

1

7

Trends of growth of electricity sales revenue and SNF
management costs
Revenue,
bln. roubles

Revenue vs SNF costs
SNF costs,
bln. roubles

Revenue

1

SNF costs

Total costs of SNF management will be equal to:
• 61.7 bln. roubles in the period up to 2020
• 195.5 bln. roubles in the period from 2021 to 2030

8

Nuclear technologies of new generation

Advanced and sustainable development of a
competitive nuclear power industry determines
requirements to structure of nuclear power
system as well as to its certain elements and
sets relevant technology development goals.
1

9

The strategic development goal of the Energy division

The strategic development goal of ensuring
competitiveness of the Energy division of Rosatom
includes:
Establishment of a new technology platform for
nuclear power system that uses NPPs with VVER and
BN reactors operating in a closed nuclear fuel cycle
1

10

The VVER technology development line
1. Power units in operation: VVER-440, VVER-1000.
2. Power units under construction: VVER-1000, VVER-1200 (the AES2006 design) to be commissioned starting from 2014.
3. Power units under construction: the VVER-TOI design competitive as
compared to similar technologies available worldwide, which provides
for maneuver operations and for the use of MOX fuel, to be
commissioned starting from 2020.
4. Medium-size power units being designed: VVER-600 and VBER-600
(economically viable in the capacity range over 500 MW),
commissioning of a reference unit is expected in the period up to 2025.
5. Next generation of light water reactors (Super-VVER), to be
constructed beyond 2030.

11

1

Development of fast sodium-cooled reactor technology
Why does Rosenergoatom consider the sodium
technology as a priority one for ensuring the
competitiveness (due to SNF management cost
reduction)?
1. In the near- and medium-term perspective there is no technology to be
implemented in a closed NFC other than the sodium one, which is featured
by availability of necessary
justifications, required technical and
economics characteristics, references and operating experience.
2. Because it provides for utilization (in BN reactors) of plutonium
obtained due to reprocessing of SNF from VVER reactors as part of NFC
closing. VVER and BN reactors use MOX fuel.

3. There is a possibility to replace VVER power units that are planned to
be constructed pursuant to the State Corporation “Rosatom” investment
programme, with BN-1200 units provided that costs of their construction
and operational costs would not exceed the relevant VVER technology
costs more than by 15%, which is reasonably achievable.

12

1

13

Scientific&technical and design work stock for BN


Successful 50-year experience of development and operation



Construction of BN-800 reactor for mastering the aspects of NFC closing



Feasibility of serial construction – the BN-1200 design

Experimental
reactors

BOR-60
1969

BR-5/10
1959

Power reactors

BN-350
1973

BN-600
1980

BN-800
Startup in 2014

BN-1200
Development

Comparison of the main components of capital costs of NPP construction *)
Prices are given for 01.01.2013

Measuring
unit

Indicator

CAPITAL COSTS, VAT excluded

Bln. roubles

Construction & Installation works,
including:

Novovoro
nezh-II
2 х 1088
MW

VVERTOI*
2 х 1175
MW

BN-800
2 х 817
MW

237.8

239.3

76.9

1$ = 31 roubles
BN-1200
2 х 1135 MW

2 first
units

Serial units

210.6

254.9

243.9

73.4

75.8

83.1

83.1

Equipment

Bln. roubles

117.2

123.6

99.8

127.1

116.1/146.3

Net relative capital investments,

$/kW

3 525

3369

4158

3622

3465/3895

*) VNIIAES data; values obtained with a conservative approach are shown in the denominators

Comparison of space planning solutions for reactor buildings

Novovoronezh-II

VVER-TOI

BN-800

BN-1200

Nuclear power system
VVER and BN reactors with NFC closing
Baseline scenario of the 1st phase
 The BN reactor line
• The pilot production complex: BN-800 with NFC
infrastructure for mastering NFC closing technologies starting from 2016.
• Commercial energy generation complex (PEC BN-1200):
power units with BN-1200 reactors and the NFC closing
infrastructure – starting from 2025.
 The VVER reactor line
• VVER construction according to the SC “Rosatom”
investment programme; VVER SNF reprocessing for
utilization in BN reactors - starting from 2020.
• VVER with MOX fuel based on plutonium from BN
reactors - starting from 2029.

1

15

PEC BN-1200. Material flowchart
Plant for fabrication of
pellet-type MOX fuel FAs
FSUE “GKhK”, IA “Mayak”
Required quantity of Pu:
Initial load – 7.3 t
Annual consumption – 2.04 t

Pu

Plants for reprocessing of
SNF from VVERs and BNs
RT-1 plant at IA “Mayak”,
PDC, RT-2 plant at FSUE “GKhK”

Plant for HRW
compacting and isolation
at FSUE “GKhK”

Plant for fabrication of
FAs with MNUP fuel
FSUE “GKhK”
Required quantity of Pu:
Initial load – 7.6 t
Annual consumption– 2.41 t

R&D activities for fuel
reprocessing and
recycling
PRC, SSC RF “NIIAR”

PEC BN-1200 comprises three identical
power units

16

1

Plutonium stock operational logistics

BN-800
Stock of energygrade Pu from TRs

BN-1200

Stock of energygrade and lowbackground Pu
from FRs

VVER-TOI (MOX)

VVER (UOX)

Stock of
ex-weapon-grade
Pu

17

Installed capacity; baseline scenario (1st phase)
NFS with VVER and BN NPPs and NFC closing.
100
90
80
70

ГВт

60

GW

50
40
30
20
10
0
1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

год

Reactor
Operating life,
years

ВВЭР-440

РБМК

ВВЭР-1000

БН-600

ВВЭР-ТОИ

ВВЭР-ТОИ (МОКС)

БН-800

БН-1200

VVER-440

RBMK

VVER1000

BN-600

VVER-TOI

VVER-TOI
(MOX)

BN-800

BN1200

45

45

50

40

60

60

45

60

1

18

Material balances for the NFC closing;
baseline scenario, 1st phase
Ежегодное потребление природного урана, т/год

Потребности в разделительных работах, т ЕРР/год

12000

14000

10000

12000

8000

10000

6000

8000
4000

т

Natural uranium and separation work
demands

т



6000
2000

4000

0
1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2000

2050

0

год
ВВЭР-440
ВВЭР-1000
ВВЭР-ТОИ и ВВЭР-ТОИ (МОКС)

1970

РБМК
БН-600
БН-800

1980

1990

110

1800

100

2030

2040

2050

90
80

1400

70

т

1200

т

2020

Переработка ОЯТ БН-1200

2000
1600

Capacities of SNF reprocessing plants

2010
год

Переработка ОЯТ ВВЭР-1000



2000

1000

60
50

800

40

600

30
20

400

10

200
0
2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

0
2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

год

год

Изготовление МОКС для БН

Изготовление МОКС для ВВЭР-ТОИ
180

160

160

140

140

120

120

100

100

80

80

60

60

150

40

40

100

20

20

0
2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

0
2050

год
БН-800

БН-1200

300
250
200

50
0
2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

год

Завод

SNF in storage facilities

50000
45000
40000
35000
30000
25000
20000
15000
10000
5000
0
1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

1

ОЯТ в хранилищах, т

т



350

180

т

Capacities of fuel fabrication plants for fast
reactors

т



2050

год
С переработкой ОЯТ РБМК
С переработкой остальных типов реакторов
ОЯТ РБМК не перерабатывается

19

Results of systemic analysis of NFC closing


NFC closing using thermal reactors only does not provide a sound solution of
systemic problems of the current nuclear power.



Optional scenarios of a NPS with fast reactors and moderate fuel breeding
parameters, if not using plutonium from VVER SNF reprocessing, do not
change fundamentally the situation with cumulative consumption of uranium
and do not solve the problem of VVER SNF accumulation.



The systemic problems of current nuclear power, which are permanent
growth of SNF and RW volumes and inefficient utilization of natural uranium
can be solved by means of establishment of a NPS based on BN reactors with
enhanced fuel breeding parameters in combination with VVERs with
reprocessing and mutual recycling of fuel.

1

20

Key events and activities towards NFC closing by 2030
 Commissioning of a plant for MOX fuel fabrication for BN-800 reactor
at FSUE “GKhK” in 2015.
 Development of engineering design of a lead power unit with BN1200 as a part of Commercial energy generation complex (PEC)
with NFC closing, in 2016.
 VVER SNF reprocessing : the RT-2 plant (1st stage) , in 2025.
 Designing and construction of a plant for mixed uranium-plutonium
oxide fuel fabrication for BN-1200, till 2025.
 Designing and construction of a module for BN-800 and BN-1200 SNF
reprocessing, part of the PDC at FSUE “GKhK”, by 2025.
 Construction of 5 power units with BN-1200 in 2025, 2028, 2030, 2033,
2035.
 Designing and construction of a plant for MOX fuel fabrication from 1
BN SNF regenerate for VVERs, till 2028.
 Start of VVERs operation with MOX fuel, till 2030.

21

Expected outcomes from the activities
• Restraint of growth of the fuel component of production cost of electricity
generated at NPPs.
• Increased efficiency of natural uranium utilization.
• Solution of SNF/RW problem. Reduction of SNF management costs.
Reduction of volumes of stored SNF.
• Cessation of plutonium accumulation in storage facilities, plutonium
utilization for electricity generation and reduction of the proliferation
risks.
• Utilization of excess amounts of weapon-grade plutonium.
• Practical industrial-scale mastering of a new energy generating
technology: fuel breeding, reprocessing and recycling, HLW separation,
compacting and isolation.
• Improved VVER competitiveness at international markets due to provision
of a full spectrum of services related to the closed nuclear fuel cycle.
• Improved competitiveness of the generating company.

Architecture of a nuclear power system meeting the
requirements to sustainability and safety
• Thermal neutron reactors in combination with fast neutron reactors
providing for fuel breeding.

• Fuel cycle closing with SNF reprocessing, multiple fuel recycling, RW
separation and isolation.
– This would ensure an unlimited resource of nuclear fuel due to
breeding of Pu and U-233 from uranium and thorium, reduce SNF
storage volumes and solve the RW management problem.
• High-temperature reactors for hydrogen generation, technological
processes and utilities sector.

– This would compensate the growth of fossil fuels shortfall in the
industry, transport and household sectors (the area of non-electric
consumption of energy resources)

1

23

Thank you for your attention
1

24