Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Putin's Nuclear Plan

I just returned from Moscow, and the day before my departure I had the opportunity to see the Russian news reportage about Putin's grandiose schemes for the Russian nuclear industry. Over the next seven years, the Russian government plans to invest about one trillion rubles in new nuclear power projects. After this point, Putin expects that the industry will be able to secure regular financing for itself. With twenty-six new nuclear reactors by 2020, Putin hopes to double the size of Russia's nuclear fleet.

What really made my ears perk up, however, was when I heard this:
- Но следует переходить к новейшим технологиям: внедрять замкнутый топливный цикл, создавать коммерческий реактор на быстрых нейтронах. На решение этой задачи должна быть направлена целевая программа "Ядерные энерготехнологии нового поколения". Следует завершить ее подготовку уже к ноябрю текущего года", - сказал Путин. Наиболее эффективно АЭС работают в режиме полной загрузки, "поэтому единая энергосистема страны должна быть готова принять новые мощности". В этой связи Путин подчеркнул необходимость опережающего развития сетевой инфраструктуры. Он напомнил, что по некоторым объектам атомной отрасли решения не были приняты, "так как сетевая инфраструктура не была готова". "Прошу учесть этот аспект в генеральной схеме размещения объектов электроэнергетики", - сказал он.

But it is necessary to migrate to new technologies: to introduce a closed fuel cycle, to construct a commercial fast reactor. To achieve these aims there an entire program, "Next Generation Nuclear Energy Technology," should be introduced. Its preparation should be completed by November of this year," said Putin. The most effective nuclear plants operate at full load, "therefore the entire national energy system should be ready to receive the new capacity." To this end Putin underscored the necessity of the aggressive development of grid infrastructure. He reminded [listeners] that at some nuclear sites solutions were not reached, "and therefore grid infrastructure was not ready." "I request the study of this issue in the general scheme of siting power stations," he said.

I believe that the fast reactor part is probably a reference to the ongoing work on the BN-800, although it may be referring to even more ambitious fast-reactor projects, such as the BN-1600. It will be very interesting to see what the Russian plan for advanced nuclear technology includes when it comes out in November.

1 comment:

Alexandra Prokopenko said...

Some more info on Putins plans on Rosatom and nuclear development in Russia: