Rosatom and En+ Group resume development of small reactor
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Akme-Engineering, a joint affiliate of Russia’s State Nuclear Power Corporation Rosatom and the En+ group, has resumed a project to create a small-capacity reactor, Interfax news agency announced, quoting Mikhail Khardikov, Head of En+ Group’s energy business.

   Akme-Engineering was created in 2009 for the purpose of developing the SVBR-100 reactor (capacity 100 MW) with a single unit layout of the nuclear circuit. Equipment for the reactor, including the reactor and steam generator modules, were to be placed in a single working unit.

    The project was being developed within the framework of the Russian federal target programme “Nuclear Power Technologies of the New Generation for 2010 – 2015 and until 2020”. Its backers had hoped to take over 10-15 % of the world market for small and medium-sized reactors.

    In 2014, Akme-Engineering secured three patents for the creation, within the parameters of the SBR-100 project, for heat exchangers, field pipe (the primary node of the steam generator producing superheated steam). And increasing interest in carbon neutrality could speed up moves to bring it into use.

    “We now understand that the environmental agenda, so resoundingly presented at the COP26 conference, is a new stimulus for this project to be developed,” Khardikov was quoted as saying. “We believe that when the joint venture was created, a series of correct decisions was taken in terms of investing in this project.”

    Projects similar to the SVBR-100 are attracting more attention outside Russia.

    In November, Rolls Royce, in conjunction with France’s BNF Resources and the U.S. company Exelon Generation announced their intention to invest 195 million pounds ($258 million) in the development of small modular reactors. The British Fund UK Research and Innovation allocated a grant of 210 million pounds to the project.

    In August, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the design certification application for a 50 MW modular reactor project developed by the company NuScale Power.

    And in October, representatives of 10 European Union member-states, including France, Finland and the Czech Republic, published an article in several European dailies appealing for nuclear power to be  included in the “taxonomy” list of sustainable energy sources drafted by the European Commission.

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