Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant

The Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station (Russian: Белоярская атомная электростанция им. И. В. Курчатова) is the second of the then Soviet Union’s nuclear plants. It is situated by the town Zarechny, in the Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. (Actually, Zarechny was created to service the station, and the station was named after the Beloyarsky District, Sverdlovsk Oblast) The closest larger city is Yekaterinburg. The power plant was the first to put graphite-moderated reactors in operation, to produce electrical power.

The two first reactors at Beloyarsk were put in operation in 1964 and 1967, respectively. These were of the AMB-100 and AMB-200 type, which are an earlier version of RBMK graphite moderated reactors. They were shut down in 1983 and 1989.

One of the reactors that are operational today at Beloyarsk Power Plant, is a BN-600 fast breeder reactor, which generates 600 MW. It is the world’s largest power-generating unit with a fast neutron reactor.

In 1987, the construction of a new and bigger fast-breeder reactor, the BN-800 type began. The work was suspended in 1988. In 1992 President Yeltsin ordered the construction resumed, but due to lack of finances, very little has been done. Construction costs has been estimated to 1 trillion rubles. The lifetime of the BN-600 ends in 2010. The new reactor can be finished only in 2012–2015 with the current scarce financing. So, the lifetime of the BN-600 is likely to be extended.
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