BN-350 reactor


Aktau nuclear power plant
Shevchenko BN350 desalinati.jpg
Past BN-350 desalination unit.
Coordinates43°36′25″N 51°16′59″E / 43.607°N 51.283°E / 43.607; 51.283Coordinates: 43°36′25″N 51°16′59″E / 43.607°N 51.283°E / 43.607; 51.283
Construction began1964
Commission date1973
Decommission date
  • 22 April 1999
Nuclear power station
Reactor typesodium-cooled fast reactor (BN350)
Reactor supplierAtomenergoproekt
Power generation
Make and modelKharkov Turbine Plant
Units decommissioned1 × 350 MW
Nameplate capacity
  • 350 MW
External links
Shevchenko BN-350 nuclear fast reactor and desalination plant situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea. The former plant could generate 350 MWe and provide steam for an associated desalination plant. View of the interior of the reactor hall.

The BN-350 was a sodium-cooled, fast reactor located at the Mangyshlak Nuclear Power Plant, located in Aktau (formerly known as Shevchenko in 1964–1992), Kazakhstan, on the shore of the Caspian Sea.

Construction of the BN-350 fast breeder reactor began in 1964, and the plant first produced electricity in 1973. In addition to providing power for the city (350 MWe), BN-350 was also used for producing plutonium and for desalination to supply fresh water (120,000 m³ fresh water/day) to the city.[1]

Closure and decommissioning

The project lifetime of the reactor officially finished in 1993, and in June 1994, the reactor was forced to shut down because of a lack of funds to buy fuel. By 1995, the plant's operating license had expired. The facility continued to operate far below capacity until reactor operations ceased in 1999, when plutonium-bearing spent fuel stopped being produced.

Disposition of spent fuel was executed with technical and financial assistance of the US government.[2] Some 3000 cubic metres of liquid radioactive waste, mainly sodium and caesium-137 with a half-life of 30 years, are stored at MAEK-Kazatomprom. Short-term safe storage will be 10 years, followed by a long-term dry storage of 50 years.[3] Total decommissioning cost was estimated in 2020 at $ 330 million to be paid by local residents through the electricity tariff. [3]

See also


  1. ^ The BN-350 decommissioning project. IAEA, 2002 (Record 34060088)
  2. ^ Criticality Safety Issues in the Disposition of BN-350 Spent Fuel. Argonne National Laboratory, 28 Feb 2000. Abstract
  3. ^ a b Local residents pay for decommissioning of Kazakhstan’s BN-350 reactor, NEI, 27 Feb 2020