Russian nuclear engineer Rosatom has begun work on one of the world’s first fourth-generation nuclear reactors at a site owned by the Siberian Chemical Combine in the Tomsk region. The 300MW Brest-OD-300 reactor will use “fast” neutrons, lead cooling, and a fuel mix of uranium and plutonium to create a unit that consumes most of its own waste. Fast reactors are thought to be some 60 times more fuel-efficient than slow-neutron reactors; they generate less radioactive waste and can be used in a “closed cycle” system, in which waste is reprocessed into fuel. They have not been widely commercialised yet because the faster neutrons travel, the harder it is to create and sustain a chain reaction. Previous generations of reactor used graphite “moderators” to slow neutrons and increase the likelihood that they would cause nuclear fission in fuel rods.
Global Construction Review 16th June 2021 read more »