Beloyarsk to resume construction of BN-800 reactor

Publish date: July 16, 1997

The government of Sverdlovsk county has decided to resume the construction of the forth BN-800 reactor at Beloyarsk nuclear power plant. Prompted by the Chernobyl accident, the project was frozen in 1986.

Beloyarsk nuclear power plant in Sverdlovsk county currently has only one operational reactor installation, of BN-600 type. The two other reactors, of AMB-100 and AMB-200 types, are shut down. No decision has been taken on how to handle the spent fuel from these reactors.

While all the fuel was taken out of the first reactor installation, the AMB-100, there are still a few fuel assemblies left inside the second reactor. The onsite storage facility now holds 4990 fuel assemblies. A part of the cladding is no longer tight, leading to contamination of the cooling water. Radioactivity in the water increased during the last three years by a factor of 1.6. Although the first reactor installation at Beloyarsk was taken out of operation as early as 1980, the decommissioning is still not finished.

Nevertheless, the regional authorities are seeking 1.1 billion USD to complete the construction of the forth reactor installation. As expected, the sum is to be provided by some major industry plants of the county, Beloyarsk nuclear power plant itself and by the county government. While the involved parties have agreed to the funding plan, actual funds have not yet materialised.