Russia installs operation simulator at Beloyarsk plant

01 April 2019

A full-scale simulator at unit 4 of the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant - the BN-800 fast neutron reactor in Russia - has passed acceptance tests, state nuclear corporation Rosatom has announced. The BN-800 fast neutron reactor started operating at 100% power for the first time in August 2016.

The new simulator at Beloyarsk unit 4 (Image: Rosatom)

The 789 MWe unit is fuelled by a mix of uranium and plutonium oxides arranged to produce new fuel material as it burns. Its capacity exceeds that of the world's second most powerful fast reactor - the 560 MWe BN-600 Beloyarsk 3.

The simulator, which “accurately replicates” the control panel of the BN-800, was installed in the training centre of the Beloyarsk plant, which is located in Zaredskaya, in the Sverdlovsk region. It was developed by the Russian Research Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operation (VNIIAES), its equipment was manufactured by the Urals Elektromechanical Plant, and the software by ENIKO TSO.

Operators of nuclear power plants "must be able to operate under all conditions" and so plant personnel receive 144 hours of training every year, of which 80 hours will be spent in the new simulator, Rosatom said. The use of a full-scale simulator "greatly expands" the experience of staff, enabling them to analyse various operating situations under the guidance of experienced Instructors, it added.

The Beloyarsk nuclear power plant was put into operation in April 1964. The BN-600 unit has been in operation since 1980.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News