BN-350 reactor


Decommissioned Reactors ( gross ):

The nuclear power plant Aktau (formerly Shevchenko nuclear power plant ) was a nuclear power plant with a fast breeder reactor BN -350 type in Aktau in Kazakhstan. The city was named 1964-1992 Shevchenko, which is why the reactor is often mentioned under that name.

The used sodium- cooled reactor had a net electrical output of 52 MW and a gross capacity of 90 MW.


Construction of the facility was on 10 January 1964. The block was first synchronized on 16 July 1973 with the electricity grid and went on the same day in commercial operation. On 22 April 1999, he was finally decommissioned. During its working life he dined 1853 GWh in the power grid.

1997 the Governments of the United States and Kazakhstan, a joint program to improve safety for the plutonium - bearing, in which the spent fuel is held from the nuclear power plant. By 2001, this program was carried out under the supervision of the IAEA. The new, specially designed storage containers are large, heavy, and highly radioactive, so that the fuel elements are much more difficult to steal than before. The United States and Kazakhstan agreed to store the fuel in these tanks on the territory of the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan. In 2007, the transport was completed in Semipalatinsk. The two countries had also worked at the reactor shutdown.

There was also the danger of proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: The spent fuel from the nuclear power plant contained almost three tons of plutonium. This plutonium is better than the standard weapons - grade plutonium (> 90 % Pu239 ), although the plutonium is embedded in about 300 tons of spent fuel. The reactor and its spent fuel are located on the shores of the Caspian Sea, on the opposite bank of Iran. Iran is closely associated with the city of Aktau, in which the reactor is located.

A second reactor at the site, also a breeder reactor, but with an electrical output of 350 MW, is scheduled vague.


The heaviest incident in Aktau in 1975 a two-hour sodium fire, since the sodium had come into contact with water. The incident was classified on the International Nuclear Event Scale rating at level 1.

End of December 1994, there was loud OMRI Daily Digest to another fire at the plant, because the oil was leaked from a coolant pump. The fire was quickly extinguished, however, and it was leaked no radiation. The Kazakh Atomic Energy Agency criticized the mass media who reported this incident. According to the supervisor of the reactor should be shut down for maintenance to change a seal on a coolant pump, because there was a whistling through the coolant pressure. This led to a major leak at the main coolant pump. Since it was feared that the hot oil would pre-run for sodium loop, you have called preventive firefighters. However, there was no fire. The incident was classified on the international scale for nuclear events on the level 0.


In a nuclear power plant reactor BN -350 type was used. He stood next generation of process heat for a seawater desalination plant available and is built in loop construction.

The BN -350 was designed specifically for the purpose of power generation (150 MW) and for water desalination ( 120,000 m3 of fresh water per day ), which corresponds to a total output of 350 MWe. He was the only reactor in the world to heated a seawater desalination plant.

Experience has shown that the operating and maintenance costs (reliability, availability, capacity factor) could compete for power generation of the BN -350 economically with conventional power plants (fossil fuels or light water reactors ), but the capital cost of this plant were high. In June 1994, the reactor had to be shut down due to lack of funding for new fuel.

Data of the reactor block

The nuclear power plant Aktau has a power block: