MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia’s state nuclear fuel company TVEL said Tuesday it had successfully tested experimental fuel bundles for an advanced lead-cooled fast reactor that will revolutionize the nuclear energy industry.
"Experimental fuel assemblies produced at the Siberian Chemical Factory as part of the Proryv [Breakthrough] project have proven to be effective during tests inside the reactor and during follow-up research," the company’s statement read.
The so-called fuel assemblies are structured bundles of fuel rods used to power reactors. Russian scientists at TVEL, a firm within Russia’s nuclear giant Rosatom, used bunches of uranium-plutonium oxide and nitride fuels.
The company said the mixed fuel assemblies retained their integrity after being irradiated inside a fast neutron reactor, BN-600, at a Beloyarsk nuclear power plant near the town of Zarechny in Central Russia.
The Proryv project aims at closing the nuclear fuel cycle, which is an industrial process of producing electricity from uranium and plutonium starting with mining for ore and ending with disposal of nuclear waste.
Reprocessing spent nuclear fuel is referred to as closing the nuclear fuel cycle. Russian scientists are experimenting on fast neutron reactors to achieve this goal in order to expand the fuel base and reduce radioactive waste.