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Gas Cooled Fast Nuclear Reactor Facility


Development of Conceptual Proposal on Design of Fast Nuclear Gas Cooled Reactor Facility FBGR-1000 with Using of Light Water Reactors and Micro-Coating Fuel Technologies

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-ENG/Reactor Engineering and NPP/Fission Reactors

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Tocheny L V

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow


  • National Nuclear Corporation Limited, UK, Knutsford\nCEA Commissariat a l'Energia Atomique, Cadarache, France, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance\nFRAMATOME, France, Paris La Défense

Project summary

The purpose of the project is the development of a conceptual proposal of the nuclear reactor facility (RF) with the fast neutron helium-cooled reactor BGR-1000, based on the synthesis of technological solutions proven for high-temperature and light-water (VVER-type) reactors. It is assumed that the nuclear power plant (NPP) with the proposed RF BGR-1000 would possess following features: have the level of capital costs close to the competitive energy sources and high efficiency (about 50%); make it possible to exclude the essential radiation consequences of any emergencies or persions; and ensure such characteristics as necessary level of fuel breeding when operating in the closed fuel cycle, possibility of closing the fuel cycle on all actinides (in the long term perspective), organization of the on-site fuel reprocessing on the basis of advanced non-aqueous methods, limited total reactor reactivity margin making it possible to practically exclude reactivity accidents.

The stipulation of development of such a reactor concept is caused by the fact that studies of power engineering of the future requires the in-depth analysis of different proposals on the fast neutron reactors, capable to work in the closed fuel cycle. The development of the reactor facility with BGR-1000 can also be considered as a contribution to studies in frames of the INPRO project under IAEA auspices started to realize the Millennium Summit initiative of the Russian President for the sustainable energy supply of mankind.

The proposed 1000 MWe power facility with a fast helium-cooled reactor BGR-1000 is based on the concept of the core fuelled by microfuel elements - coated fuel microparticles (CP), directly cooled by the cross flow of the gaseous coolant of moderate temperature.

It is supposed to examine the possibility to use in the active core fuel assemblies of different designs based on engineering decisions for guaranteeing the radial expenditure of the helium coolant through the layer of free CP filling, with simultaneous profiling along the core height. It is also assumed that taking into account the specific character of the expected conditions of operation, the CP design for the BGR-1000 reactor can differ from traditional CP design usual for HTGR-type reactors.

The reactor BGR-1000 is intended to be placed in the vessel of a light-water reactor (for example, VVER-type) with the loop-type layout of the first circuit equipment, implementing proven design decisions for core flooding system by water, which can be used as the emergency protection system and during refueling operations. The principal RF structure is a two-circuit scheme with the use in the second loop of the water coolant with supercritical parameters for guaranteeing the high value of thermal efficiency (~ 50%).

Basic requirements to a reactor facility with the BGR-1000 are the following:

- initial capital costs of a power unit with BGR-1000 facility are not higher than for the unit with a VVER-1000 light-water reactor of Russian design;

- thermal efficiency of the BGR-1000 reactor facility is not lower than 48-55%;

- exclusion of essential radiation consequences of any emergencies or persions due to the application in the microfuel elements of multilayer protective coatings, corrosively resistant in the aqueous medium and preserving integrity at temperatures up to 1600 °C;

- breeding rate is about 1.05 (with optional use of axial and radial blankets ~ 1.10), maximum reactivity margin is about bef, nonpositive void reactivity effect, nonpositive reactivity effect caused by flooding of the core by cold water without boron, possibility of achievement of the specified characteristics also working in the closed cycle with the recycle of all actinides;

- use of the known and largely proven technical decisions making it possible to give up significant expenditures for conducting of R&D with the high degree of the risk of the investments recovery.

The basic tasks of the proposed development are the following:

- Formulation of conceptual proposals on the appearance of reactor facility with BGR-1000, including:

- qualitative analysis of the merits of the proposed concept in comparison with other developments of innovative fast reactors;
- selection and preliminary substantiation of the schematic diagram of reactor facility;
- selection and preliminary substantiation of the conceptual design of a fuel element, a fuel assembly and an active core;
- selection and preliminary substantiation of the design concepts of safety systems.

- Evaluation of neutron-physics characteristics:

- studies of physical processes in the core for the substantiation of a core layout, which makes it possible to achieve minimal reactivity margin during every partial fuel lifetime.

- Evaluation of thermal-hydraulic characteristics.

- Estimation of reactor facility behavior in typical emergency conditions.

- Estimation of the ability of fuel to work in the normal and emergency operations.

- Development of the program of the necessary experimental testing of the fuel.

- Release of the final report “Conceptual design proposals on reactor facility BGR-1000”.

The RF with BGR-1000 proposed for the development in frames of the present Project is considered as one of the options of the concept of a fast neutron reactor acceptable according to the such fundamental characteristics as efficiency, breeding or self-provision by fuel, safety (due to optimization of reactivity feedbacks), possibility of transmutation of the long-lived isotopes and organization of on-site fuel reprocessing at NPP.

In comparison with any reactor concept with traditional container-type fuel elements, the concept of the BGR-1000 reactor fueled by CP bed possesses the potential of the deterministic exclusion of essential radiation consequences of any severe accident or persion (if it nevertheless occurred), and also ensures the additional level of protection from the proliferation of fissile materials.

At the implementation of the closed fuel cycle with the recycling of all actinides, the application of high-temperature CPs significantly simplifies the problem of irradiated nuclear fuel treatment, connected with characteristic for this case high level of the residual heat (high equilibrium content of 244Cm in the spent fuel).

Additionally, one can study a structural scheme of RF FBRG-1000 with the technological circuit for the removal of high-potential heat for the production of hydrogen, conversion of organic fuel, etc.

The concept of BGR-1000 is based on to a considerable degree of those of already proven in Russia and in the world technologies of micro-fuels element with uranium carbide fuel, gaseous and light-water coolants.

Proposed concept of the BGR-1000 reactor facility is an innovative one and, therefore, the studies proposed in framework of this Project will have the preliminary character corresponding to the level of the development of a conceptual proposal.


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