Nuclear technology: when the future is knocking on the door

Nuclear technology: when the future is knocking on the door

Compact nuclear plants: the potential is huge

Reactors of significant power, for example VVER-1200, are unlikely to be localized in small countries or in areas where consumers do not have sufficient load. VVER reactors of lower power have a higher cost per unit of power. Compact, low-power reactors that would have good economic performance and be built quickly and easily (for example, in mass production) will be in good demand on the market.

According to the (IAEA) definition, small reactors are those having a power of up to 300 MW and consisting of modules that are manufactured in a factory before delivery and installation on site. Among them are small modular reactors (SMRs).

Now in the world there are already more than 70 projects of compact, multi-purpose reactors of various types and designs. According to estimates from the UK National Nuclear Laboratory, the global market for SMRs by 2035 could reach 65-85 GW and is estimated at £250-400 billion ($300-500 billion).

SMRs can be built to supply electricity to remote areas of the developing world, in the Far North, and in the desert. On their basis it is possible to build factories, oil platforms, army bases, and supply mines.

Floating NPP – “floating” nuclear power plant

And here Rosatom has promising developments - floating nuclear thermal power plants (FNPP). The first nuclear power plant of this type, Akademik Lomonosov, was launched in 2020 in the port of Pevek (Chaunsky district, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug) and in the future will replace the Bilibino NPP. The station consists of a floating power unit (FPU), an onshore site with structures, as well as hydraulic structures that ensure safe parking of the FPU in the water area.

The project has been implemented since 2007. At nominal mode, the Akademik Lomonosov supplies 60 MW of electricity and 50 Gcal/h of heat to the shore. An additional function of the floating nuclear power plant is the desalination of sea water - from 40 to 240 thousand cubic meters of fresh water per day.


RITM-200 is a Russian pressurized water nuclear reactor developed by OKBM im. Afrikantov, made according to a double-circuit scheme. Designed for installation on nuclear icebreakers, floating nuclear power plants produced by ZiO-Podolsk and low-power nuclear power plants. The first power plant with two reactors for the first nuclear icebreaker of Project 22220 type "Arktika" (LK-60Ya) was delivered in 2016. The icebreaker was commissioned in 2020.


US developments

NuScale Modular Reactor

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced the completion of the certification process for the first nuclear reactor developed by private company NuScale. The rector is modular, which allows you to assemble blocks from them. Production is carried out using the conveyor method at the factory, from where the reactor, fully ready for operation, is delivered to the customer at the site of operation.

Two versions of the modular mini-reactor have been created, with a capacity of 50 MW and 60 MW. Both installations have a steel body measuring 23 meters long and 4,5 meters wide. The first version is undergoing certification in a configuration of 12 modules, providing a total of approximately 600 MW of electricity. Such a module is capable of producing almost 50 tons of hydrogen fuel per day from water.

NuScale Modular Reactor

eVinci microreactor

Another project is Westinghouse's eVinci microreactor.

eVinci power ranges between 200 kW and 15 MW. They plan to use pellets with uranium enriched to 19,75% as fuel. The fuel campaign lasts 10 years, then the reactor is sent to the manufacturer for reloading.

Westinghouse expects to build the first eVinci in 2024.


The ACP-100 reactor (Longxing) is a project being developed by the Chinese corporation CNNC.

Integral modular pressurized water reactor designed on existing PWR technologies using passive safety systems. Electric power is about 100 MW, service life is 60 years, partial reloading is carried out every two years.


Other SMR projects in the final stages of construction include the 30 MW(e) CAREM reactor in Argentina.

The CAREM-25 reactor (Central Argentina de Elementos Modulares) is a low-power modular demonstration reactor. The CAREM reactor vessel, with a diameter of 3,2 meters and a height of 11 meters, was manufactured by the Argentine company IMPSA. It houses 12 vertical steam generators that produce superheated steam.

Fuel campaign – 510 eff. days at fifty percent core overload.

Nuclear micropower plants (MPs)

According to the IAEA, MPs represent ultra-compact nuclear power plants that can be immediately assembled at the factory and delivered to the site by one truck.

Such stations must have self-regulating passive safety systems that do not require a large number of maintenance personnel. They can not be tied to the electrical network, can be transported from place to place and used in different conditions.

Power - about 10 MW (e) with a minimum fuel loading period of 10 or more years in a round-the-clock and continuous mode provides electricity to more than 5 homes.

Currently, private companies and research groups in different countries of the world are developing more than a dozen MR projects.

Russia: microreactor projects

Project "Shelf-M"

Rosatom plans to build the world's first 10-megawatt Shelf-M microreactor in Chukotka by 2030. Shelf is being developed by NIKIET.

Project SVET-M

"Gidropress" is developing a fourth-generation reactor for low-power nuclear power plants (LNP) "SVET-M" (Lead-bismuth reactor with natural coolant circulation - modular).

According to the head of the Gidropress department, Sergei Lyakishev, options are being developed in a wide range of electrical power: from 1 to 50 MW. The most developed design is for 10 MW.

The height of the reactor is about 5 m, which allows the reactor to be delivered by any type of transport. The coolant is a eutectic alloy of lead and bismuth. The body is a monoblock in which both the core and steam generators are located. Water enters the housing and superheated steam exits. The reactor operates on natural circulation; there are no pumps in the primary circuit. The housing is not loaded with pressure and has passive cooling of the core.

The lead-bismuth alloy is located in the reactor vessel at atmospheric pressure; it does not chemically interact with either atmospheric air or water.

SVET-M belongs to the fourth generation of safety reactors.

Aurora reactor (USA)

One of the projects nearing completion is the 1,5 MW(e) Aurora fast spectrum reactor, which is being developed by Oklo.

The reactor is designed on the principle of functioning and self-regulation primarily due to natural physical processes, which implies the use of a very small number of moving elements in it - in order to increase safety. It will use reprocessed fuel with high content of low-enriched uranium (HALEU), and the nuclear power plant will be able to operate for decades without the need for refueling.

There is another specific area of ​​AE - for military needs. This direction is reflected in the material on VO: “Option for the military: low-power nuclear power plants.”

Problems of the conventional (open) nuclear fuel cycle: shortage of uranium-235

Most current nuclear power plants operate on thermal (or slow) neutrons using water as a coolant.

The fuel used is uranium-235, which is rarer in nature (less than 1%), which is fissioned under the influence of thermal neutrons. The more common uranium-238 cannot support a chain reaction due to the fact that when it fissions, fewer neutrons will appear with each generation than in the past: the reaction will die out.

A diagram of a typical open nuclear cycle is shown in the following figure:

There is currently a shortage of mined uranium in the world. According to the Red Book 2020 (Red Book, a publication of the Nuclear Energy Agency - NEA - and the IAEA), as of January 1, 2019, uranium mining from mines provided 90% of the world's nuclear energy needs. In 2021, 48,3 thousand tons of uranium were extracted, while the demand of operating nuclear power plants was 62,4 thousand tons (77,4%).

The deficit is covered by uranium from the reserves of the state and companies, through the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel; low-enriched uranium produced by diluting highly enriched uranium, as well as uranium from re-enriched enrichment tails. Uranium tails - depleted uranium hexafluoride - are a by-product of processing uranium hexafluoride into enriched uranium.

The previously used gas diffusion technology for separating uranium 235 was less efficient compared to the modern gas centrifuge technology. Therefore, up to half of its natural volume remained in the uranium tails.

The IAEA estimates that by 2040, depending on the pace of nuclear energy development, global uranium demand could range from 56 tons of uranium per year in a low demand scenario to 640 tons of uranium per year in a high demand scenario.

As of January 1, 2019, proven reserves of uranium worldwide amount to 8 tons. Conclusion: in the foreseeable future, the world's uranium reserves will be sufficient for the development of global nuclear energy.

At the same time, the revival of nuclear energy has now encountered the problem of a local uranium shortage. In 2023, uranium prices jumped 30% to around $62 per pound, making uranium an attractive asset. As writes:

“Uranium shortages have occurred globally, but they are particularly noticeable in Western countries,”

“Now the market again needs to increase production, but this will not be done quickly or easily.”

Waste processing and mixed uranium-plutonium fuel (MOX fuel)

Spent nuclear fuel (SNF) accumulates in special storage facilities for decades and is only partially reprocessed.

Only a few countries in the world reprocess spent fuel (RAW) on an industrial scale - Russia, France, Great Britain, India, and a number of countries have mastered these technologies.

Mayak SNF reprocessing plant (Russia)

The main task of nuclear energy is to use uranium-238, which makes up more than 99% of natural uranium, in the fuel cycle through the production of plutonium from it.

Fast neutron reactors are designed for this, where, in addition to uranium-235, uranium-238 can also be used, which, when fissioned, turns into a fissile isotope of plutonium, suitable as fuel for both thermal and fast reactors. But there are few such reactors in the world (see below).

Scheme of formation of plutonium 239 from uranium 238

Another way to use uranium-238 is MOX fuel (Mixed-Oxide fuel), which no longer uses scarce uranium-235. It consists of a mixture of several types of oxides of fissile materials, mainly a mixture of oxides of plutonium and natural uranium, enriched uranium or depleted uranium - (U, Pu) O2. The PuO2 content can vary from 1,5 wt. % up to 25–30 wt. % depending on the type of nuclear reactor.

The raw material for the production of MOX fuel pellets is plutonium dioxide, obtained during the processing of spent nuclear fuel (irradiated nuclear fuel), and uranium-238 oxide, produced from secondary “tails” of enrichment production.

MOX can be used as an additional fuel for conventional light water thermal neutron reactors, but its use is more effective in fast neutron reactors (BN), in which Russia has an undisputed lead.

MOX ensures the “burning” of plutonium and spent fuel waste, the use of nuclear waste and the expansion of the fuel base (saving uranium ore).

In September 2022, Rosatom tested innovative MOX fuel at power unit No. 4 of the Beloyarsk NPP with the BN-800 reactor, reaching 100 percent capacity.

At the end of 2022, experimental fuel assemblies for the BN-600 reactor with fuel rods of the BN-1200 type were manufactured and accepted at the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk (JSC SCC). TVELs contain mixed dense nitride uranium-plutonium fuel (SNUP-fuel), and they are planned to be tested in 2023 at the BN-600 reactor at the Beloyarsk NPP.

France, to limit the accumulation of waste, uses spent fuel reprocessing and produces MOX fuel assemblies, but this fuel is significantly more expensive than fuel made from enriched natural uranium.

SNF reprocessing plant, France

Development of pressurized water reactor technology: VVER-S and VVER-SKD (Rosatom)

Among the disadvantages of nuclear power plants is lower efficiency. For the VVER-1200 project, the efficiency is 36% (NPP-2006 project). At the same time, the French EPR-1600 (European Pressurized Reactor) has an efficiency of 37%, and the Chinese reactor of the 4th generation SHIDAO BAY (see below) has an efficiency of 44%.

As atomicexpert writes:

“The efficiency of modern nuclear installations can be increased to 45% by switching to a water coolant with supercritical parameters or by using sodium, lead-bismuth, lead, gas coolant in the primary circuit, with water in the secondary circuit heated to supercritical parameters... the advantages of water over other coolants are known, and, therefore, the prospect of developing a water reactor is tempting.”

Rosatom is developing new VVER projects:

1. “VVER-S” – reactor with spectral regulation (developed by OKB “Gidropress”). Neutron losses in water are largely determined by the ratio of the volume occupied by water to the volume occupied by uranium, which is called the water-uranium ratio. Spectral regulation (SR) is the abandonment of liquid boron regulation and control of the reactor by changing the water-uranium ratio in the core by introducing and removing displacers there during the fuel campaign.

SR makes it possible to create a harder neutron spectrum at the beginning of the campaign and spend neutrons, which are absorbed in conventional VVERs, on the production of new fissile materials. In VVER-S, instead of being absorbed in boric acid, excess neutrons are absorbed in uranium-238, resulting in plutonium, which is used as a new fuel, which is a step towards creating a “closed cycle”. As the core burns out, the displacers are removed and replaced by water. At the end of the fuel campaign, VVER-S operates like a regular VVER.

VVER-S can operate in both open and closed fuel cycles. Currently, in light water reactors, no more than 50% MOX fuel can be loaded into the core. CP allows a light water reactor to be loaded with a core consisting entirely of MOX fuel.

The world's first VVER-S will be built in Russia beyond the Arctic Circle not far from the existing Kola Nuclear Power Plant by 2035. This technology can reduce the cost of constructing nuclear power plants by 15% and fuel consumption by 30%. The reactor can be fully loaded with MOX fuel.

2. An equally ambitious project is the creation of VVERs with supercritical coolant pressure parameters in the primary circuit - these are VVER-SKD, classified as 4th generation reactors.

Among the advantages: higher burnup coefficient, optimization of natural uranium consumption; increase in efficiency up to 44−45%; an increase in heating in the core from 280 to 540 °C and, as a consequence, a decrease in coolant flow; reduction of specific capital costs for the construction of a power unit.

The main problem is to find suitable materials and technical solutions. The reactor can also be fully loaded with MOX fuel. It is planned to create a low-power SKD reactor. Due to space limitations, a review of the Russian nuclear program is made in a separate material.

Two-component nuclear power with a closed nuclear fuel cycle (CNFC)

According to the Rosatom concept, two-component nuclear power, combined with a closed nuclear fuel cycle (CNFC), will provide a fundamental solution to two main nuclear energy problems: handling spent nuclear fuel, radioactive waste (RAW) and increasing the efficiency of use of natural uranium.

To solve this problem, Rosatom plans to create an energy complex of two types of reactors: water-cooled reactors with spectral control (VVER-S) and fast neutrons (BN): pilot-demonstration (BREST-OD-300) and power (two options are being developed: BN‑1200M with sodium coolant and BR‑1200 with lead coolant).

The use of VVER-S will ensure savings in natural uranium during the operation of nuclear power plants, and BN reactors will make it possible to effectively use spent fuel, reprocess it and produce new fuel (MOX, SNUP).

The task of creating a CNFC is solved by our fast neutron reactor projects at the Beloyarsk NPP and the Breakthrough project, which connects two types of thermal and fast neutron reactors (BN) in one energy complex.

Project "Breakthrough"

On the basis of the Siberian Chemical Combine, an Experimental Demonstration Energy Complex is being built, where a fuel fabrication and processing plant and a unique innovative fast neutron reactor with lead coolant BREST-OD-300 will be built. The BN-1200 sodium fast neutron reactor is also being developed.

But all these projects require the development of new, extremely complex technical and design solutions.

Closed fuel cycle – CNFC (ideals and reality)

Reproduction of nuclear fuel in the CNFC can only be organized in a fast neutron reactor, where uranium-238 can be used.

If plutonium-239 is loaded into the reactor core and surrounded by a breeding zone of uranium-238, then when neutrons flying from the core are captured, uranium-238 turns into “new” plutonium-239.

Scheme for the reproduction of plutonium-239 from uranium-238 in reactors at BN, Source:

But everything is not so simple here.

Water, which is used as a coolant in conventional reactors, is not suitable here - since it slows down neutrons, and fast particles are needed.

A substance that would be liquid at the temperatures existing in the reactor and would not absorb or moderate neutrons could be liquid sodium, which is usually used in BN reactors as a coolant. But the use of sodium greatly complicates the technology, makes construction more expensive, and the problem of nuclear proliferation arises. weapons due to the production of plutonium.

To close the cycle, a process of processing and manufacturing new fuel assemblies from highly radioactive spent fuel assemblies is necessary, which is quite expensive and complex (requires remote, automated and specialized processing).

According to a number of experts (Professor I. N. Ostretsov, S. V. Korovkin, JSC Atomenergoproekt, etc.), this scheme has a number of difficulties. To obtain plutonium, it is also needed in significant quantities in the initial assembly, and the rate of “generation” of new plutonium is quite low. Consequently, the production of plutonium is limited by its reserves, which can be obtained either from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel or from weapons stockpiles.

Due to difficulties, almost everywhere where breeder reactors (breeders) were built, they were either closed or not built.

Russia is the only country in the world in which two industrial fast neutron reactors with sodium coolant are operating at once - these are the BN-600 and BN-800 reactors at the Beloyarsk NPP. However, the operation of these stations, due to the mentioned technical difficulties, was far from simple.

In addition, an innovative fast neutron reactor with lead coolant, BREST-OD-300, is being developed.

So why all this?

Russia can create such a reactor by developing innovative technologies and being ahead of many countries, but it is not a fact that it will be able to become widespread.

However, China is also following the same path of “developing innovations”.

Xiapu NPP

Xiapu Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant being built in Xiapu County, Fujian Province, China, on Changbiao Island as part of China's plan to achieve a closed nuclear fuel cycle. This is a demonstration project of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Generation IV reactor.

This nuclear power plant is also known by the name of its reactor as CFR-600 (China Fast Reactor 600). “China Fast Reactor 600” is a pool-type BN nuclear reactor with sodium coolant. Construction of the reactor began at the end of 2017. The reactor power will be 1 MW – thermal and 500 MW – electrical. The fuel will be supplied by TVEL, a subsidiary of Rosatom, in accordance with an agreement signed in 600.

At the same site, construction of a 2020 MW CFR-600 reactor began in December 600, and four 4 MW CAP1000 reactors are proposed to be built.

Shidaowan NPP – innovative 4th generation reactor

The Shidaowan NPP, the latest development of Chinese nuclear power plants, should become the world's first fourth-generation nuclear power plant. In 2021, the first SHIDAO BAY power unit was connected to the grid. The unit operates two unique reactors and one turbine. Gas-cooled reactors HTR-PM are used here (in our classification HTGR - high-temperature gas-cooled reactors). For the first time in the world, helium is used as a coolant, and graphite is used as a moderator.

Fuel - loading of 245 balls - spherical fuel rods with a diameter of 000 cm made of graphite interspersed with ceramic uranium fuel, containing 6 g of fuel enriched to 7%. The fuel is capable of storing radioactive contents at temperatures up to 8,5 ° C, which is higher than emergency values .

This is an experimental unit, the total power of the turbine that powers the two reactors is small - 210 MW. The main advantage of this technology is the high coolant temperature, about 750 degrees, which makes it possible to obtain a higher efficiency of the power unit, about 44%. The unit can be used as a heat source for city heating, water desalination or for hydrogen production.

In November 2021, China announced the completion of a chain reaction test in the second reactor of the Shidaowan power plant, and in December 2022, both reactors were brought to full 240-megawatt power.

As stated by Lu Hua Kuan, Chairman of Huaneng Nuclear Research Institute:

“HTR reactors have the highest operating temperatures of any reactor type available and are also the only reactors that can produce very high temperature process heat. In the near future, HTR reactors can be used as a new generation of advanced reactors and complement China's nuclear power industry for small and medium-sized modular nuclear power units."

In his opinion, these reactors have good export potential for countries and regions with a shortage of fresh water and to countries where local power systems are not suitable for nuclear plants with a capacity of more than 1 MW.

In addition to the HTR-PM, China is offering a larger version, the HTR-PM600, with a single 650 MW turbine powered by six small reactors.

The disadvantages of HTGR, according to atomicexpert, include the volume of spent fuel, which is an order of magnitude larger than that of light water reactors, while the reprocessing of spent fuel is difficult: industrial technologies for separating the moderator from the cores and extracting the fissile material have not been tested. The reactor contains a large volume of irradiated graphite, the disposal methods for which are quite complex.

A general overview of the state of nuclear energy in the world and its prospects is given in the article on VO “Fukushima and Chernobyl, wind turbines and solar panels? Forget: the world is waiting for a nuclear energy renaissance.”

The situation in the electric power industry in general and the problems of developing renewable energy sources (RES) are discussed in the article on VO “Clean Energy” as a geostrategy: will wind turbines and solar panels save the climate.”
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  1. +5
    11 October 2023 04: 33
    In light of the upcoming development of the Arctic, floating nuclear power plants are truly a godsend! The disadvantages probably include increased security of the facility? The topic of energy is unfamiliar to me, develop it further, thanks to the author!
  2. +1
    11 October 2023 09: 33
    the immediate future of the electric power industry belongs to nuclear power plants, and further scientific and technological progress in the industry can lead to a monopoly of nuclear and then thermonuclear stations
  3. -3
    11 October 2023 09: 54
    Interesting. Everyone is working, everyone is developing...
    The main thing is not to let people like Simonyan near them, if they can’t be closed....
    1. 0
      12 October 2023 06: 23
      And what is Simonyan doing here?
  4. 0
    11 October 2023 12: 23
    everything seems to be fine with small nuclear power plants
    but then the barmalei in slippers come and make a big badabum sad
    and no security can handle them am
    1. 0
      11 October 2023 12: 41
      Quote from: nepunamemuk
      barmalei come in in slippers and make a big badabum

      A nuclear reactor cannot explode. There's nothing there to explode. So the damage will be the same as from the explosion of a chemical reactor for the production of ammonia, for example. That is, a chemical barrel ten meters high and three meters in diameter. Pollution is worse than chemical pollution, but no apocalypse.
      1. 0
        11 October 2023 13: 26
        Quote: Mikhail3
        A nuclear reactor cannot explode.

        Where an uncontrolled increase in the temperature of a working body with a liquid cooling system is possible, there is always something to explode. There may not be an apocalypse, but a local Armageddon could easily happen...

        The trouble is that mobile nuclear reactors will not economically justify the appropriate security. So he stole a floating mini-nuclear power plant, took out fuel, and flooded the station. And enrich yourself with weapons-grade plutonium... Or on a transport plane such a reactor where the thread was loaded at the unpaved airfield of Yakutia or Chukotka and on which thread the city was “landed”

        So, it’s too early to dream about highly compact reactors...
        1. 0
          12 October 2023 08: 00
          Where an uncontrolled increase in temperature of the working body with a liquid cooling system is possible

          What are you saying! I'm shocked! Both the Chernobyl accident and Fukushima happened because, firstly, they did not have safety measures against overheating, and secondly, there was a huge amount of steam in the pipelines and barrels. The steam caused great destruction and scattered flaming debris.
          In small reactors, there are literally kilograms of steam. The reactors stand on bases made of boron steel, made in the form of boilers.
          It takes a lot of explosives to cause an accident. But even in the event of an accident, it will first shoot up a couple of hundred or three hundred kilograms. They will scatter about five pieces of debris over a distance of about thirty meters. Then the crumpled core will begin to heat up. But there is too little of it to reach the melting temperature) So the skewed assembly will simply rest against the bottom of the boiler, and will warm up there, slowly producing dust. Which will become dangerous in a hundred years)
          Sergey, get educated to talk about such topics. But not like they give now in “institutes”, but like Musk - reading Soviet physics textbooks. Then the propaganda that has clogged your brains will fade, and reality will appear before your eyes...
          1. 0
            14 October 2023 12: 04
            Quote: Mikhail3
            In small reactors, there are literally kilograms of steam. .

            So far, from what can be found quickly on the Internet, for example, RITM200, a couple of kg 70 per second. But kilograms or tens and even hundreds of kg of steam are not the point, let everything go according to your scenario. Firstly, an explosion is still possible, albeit inside a closed, reserved space. So everything is fine with my education, because inside there is a local Armageddon wink Secondly, the end result is a sealed container with an uncontrolled reaction going on inside. So-so prospect.
            Now let’s look at this not from the point of view of a physics textbook, but from the position of a general understanding of social processes in the country. As long as large stations predominate, the state can provide a sufficient number of competent, moderately disciplined engineers and other specialists to service the station, and even live compactly practically in civilization; special forces for security, special services with their undercover methods. And all the same, as the alpha group exercises in the USSR showed, this does not guarantee against sabotage, but as Chernobyl showed, against the human factor. And now we look at the new reality of a large number of small reactors: competent and even disciplined engineers will not run in droves to the towns of Dalnie Grebenya, and plus the work itself in some Pevek is not the same as at the Leningrad NPP. Special forces (physical security) also, under specific conditions, experience, at a minimum, increased alcohol consumption.
            If a large enterprise wants a small nuclear power plant, for example, a powerful oil refinery near a city with a population of over a million, then accountants and all sorts of traders will not allow a mini-nuclear power plant to be installed further away; they will prefer to save on power lines and heating plants. And in addition to the already unsafe production, we will also get a mini-nuclear power plant in one place.
      2. 0
        12 October 2023 06: 26
        Not certainly in that way.
        In a nuclear reactor, water is usually under high pressure.
        I almost couldn’t keep track of the pressure and the superheated steam bursts the reactor like a tin can.
        1. 0
          12 October 2023 08: 08
          And for you, young man. You need a lot of steam for such a terrible action. Because the reactors are covered with armor. The armor is very strong, and there is very little steam because the reactor is small. So he himself is not capable of breaking it at all, no matter how much you heat him up, especially since the damaged core is very small and will not be able to really overheat. There are not so many neutrons there!)) If the armor is blown up from the outside, steam will escape. Perhaps (not a fact) he will take with him a couple of pieces that are lighter, and throw them a few meters away. After which kilograms of steam will mix with the atmosphere and lose their danger in about fifteen minutes. That's all))
  5. +2
    11 October 2023 12: 39
    Cool. Specialists from the Kurchatov Institute believe that now lives the last generation of people who freely use electricity. Of course, most people don’t use it at all. But they will be soon!
    And then there will be a fierce, cruel, invincible energy shortage. The entire energy of the planet, including green weirdos, will not be enough to satisfy it; all these reactors will not save it, and breeders will not save it either. Either we will find a fundamentally different source (it seems that we have something, but no one listens to these people) or there will be energy wars.
    1. 0
      11 October 2023 13: 57
      What kind of nonsense did they write?...................
      1. +3
        12 October 2023 00: 08
        Quote: Nastia Makarova
        What kind of nonsense did they write?...................

        Assuming that by 2100 the vast majority of the world's population should be provided with energy at a level corresponding to today's consumption in developed countries, the full satisfaction of humanity's energy needs in 2100 with a population of 11,213 billion will be 55,98 billion toe/ year (2,34×1021 J/year).

        With an average energy production efficiency of 68%, 2100 billion toe/year (81,68×3,42 J/year) should be produced in 1021, or 4,2 times more than in 2015.
        All this energy, in accordance with physical laws, will become thermal waste and its accumulation will inevitably lead to catastrophic global warming, which by 2100 could reach 5,5-7°C, a rise in sea level by 6-9 m, and the disappearance of glaciers - sources of drinking water for many regions.

        Today there are no sources capable of providing even part of the energy production volumes required by 2100, especially with the impending depletion of hydrocarbons.

        The only source of energy that can ensure the future of humanity is the Sun, which in 1 hour provides the Earth with energy equal to the consumption of all humanity in 2015.

        However, the problem is that the solar energy density at the equator does not exceed 360 W/m2 and to provide humanity with energy, solar panels with an area of about 10 million km2, including service areas and a 4-hour operating cycle.

        For comparison, the total area of ​​the European Union countries is 4,3 million km2, Kazakhstan - 2,72 million km2, the USA - 9,5 million km2.

        In addition, about 200 million tons of the most advanced batteries available today will be required, with an annual replacement of 30 million tons.

        The remaining energy sources also do not have a long-term global perspective: hydropower - the potential is almost exhausted, wind - low power density, uncontrolled periodicity

        More than 80% of the energy consumed by humanity is produced from hydrocarbon fuels, and this trend will continue for at least another 15-20 years. Other sources, including hydro, nuclear, wind, solar, etc., account for less than 20%. The balance will not change significantly until 2030-2035
        Today, there are no known sources and methods of energy production that can replace hydrocarbon fuels, especially in such volumes.
        Dynamics of depletion of traditional energy resources

        The resources of the cheapest uranium will be almost completely depleted in the coming years; The use of resources has already begun at a cost of up to $80 per 1 kg and above.
    2. 0
      12 October 2023 06: 28
      The scarcity of resources leads to a reduction in their use, or to a limitation of the population.
      In general, it’s either more economical to use, or to reduce the population.
  6. +1
    11 October 2023 12: 44
    To create effective and compact laser weapons, miniature nuclear power plants are a breakthrough.
    1. 0
      12 October 2023 12: 12
      Quote from: navycat777
      To create effective and compact laser weapons, miniature nuclear power plants are a breakthrough.

      Of course no. They are not. Alas, your education is limited to the use of the word “compact” approximately on topic. To understand the issue, you need to stick not to computer toys, but to textbooks, especially from the 70s) A nuclear reactor is a low-potential source that produces a little energy for a very long time without recharging. You can shoot a laser from a device that produces current power for a couple of dozen kettles. At a distance of ten meters, such a weapon can set fire to the hairs on the back of your hand. Not right away)
  7. +1
    11 October 2023 14: 59
    So far, Beloyarsk-4 is the most advanced nuclear energy production in the world, operating on waste from previous nuclear power plants, that is, practically free of charge.
    It’s good that they didn’t give Rosatom to the privatizers, though out of selfish interests - it’s simply downright dangerous, like giving children a hand grenade, with the hope that they won’t explode...
    1. +1
      12 October 2023 00: 36
      Quote: faterdom
      So far, Beloyarsk-4 is the most advanced nuclear energy production in the world, operating on waste from previous nuclear power plants

      The U238 breeder is not an invention of Rosatom
      The French reactor "Phoenix" was connected to network in 1973. During operation, four cases of a sudden sharp decrease in reactor reactivity, that is, a disruption of the chain reaction, were recorded. It was not possible to determine the physics of this phenomenon., which was one of the reasons for France’s refusal to further develop fast reactors. Another reason was the inability to obtain at least some economic efficiency from Phoenix. In 2010, the project was finally closed.
      Reactor "Monju" Construction of the reactor began in 1986, it was put into operation in August 1995. However, already in December 1995, a breakthrough occurred in the second circuit of the cooling system, sodium leaked out of it, which, coming into contact with air, caused a fire. Since then, Monju has been mothballed for a long time
      1971 The Clinch River Breeder Reactor, (CRBRP) closed in 1983
      thorium cycle
      "Subcritical reactor with accelerator", or "Accelerator-​Driven System" (ADS). Experimental complex “MYRRHA” (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications)
      Quote: faterdom
      that is, practically for free.

      the cost of maintaining, transporting and preparing this “freebie” is off the charts
      Quote: faterdom
      It’s good that Rosatom was not given to the privatizers,

      Thanks to Vladimir Vladimirovich, Adamov was imprisoned, although not for long. The Russian Federation would be left without nuclear weapons (as without 500 tons of weapons-grade U235 purified above 99%)
      Evgeniy Olegovich is right now quietly working in the “Breakthrough” project, its scientific director:
      BREST (Natural Safety Fast Reactor with Lead Coolant)
  8. +1
    11 October 2023 18: 40
    Quote from: navycat777
    To create effective and compact laser weapons, miniature nuclear power plants are a breakthrough.

    Well, if the army is in a military area, then not only. More important, for example, is the possibility of spreading the defense infrastructure across the entire width of our latitudes, which increases its stability, or making the State Reserve energy independent, which, however, is from the same opera. From the peaceful side - accelerating the development of the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route, and indeed our expanses with their riches
    1. 0
      13 October 2023 08: 16
      Lasers ftopku, the rest is partially correct. Alas, the decay of uranium can only be slowed down, it cannot be stopped. So the reactors still “go rotten”, just slowly...
  9. +1
    11 October 2023 20: 27
    Good review, respect to the author. It was worth adding for the unprepared public - why the temperature of the coolant is increased. And this is according to the Carnot cycle, because a nuclear reactor is a heat engine, therefore efficiency. the higher the temperature of the working fluid.
    1. 0
      11 October 2023 23: 55
      Quote: Aviator_
      the higher the temperature of the working fluid.

      or refrigerator (environment) temperature
      The CC is a spherical horse in a vacuum.
      and yet yes
      A nuclear power plant operates on the principle of a heat engine using steam-water Rankine cycle (steam overheating)

      like a steam locomotive with a condenser tender
  10. 0
    12 October 2023 10: 25
    The Russian Federation begins building two nuclear power plants. In Chelyabinsk and, like, Yaroslavl regions. This is from the latest news, if you look at the vacancies of recruitment agencies and from conversations with shift workers.
  11. +1
    12 October 2023 21: 59
    Great review! Short, precise and to the point!

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