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Beloyarsk Operating HistoryIn 1993, BN-600 produced 4.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity with a capacity factor of 80.3 percent.
Prior to commercial operation, the plant experienced early problems with leaking fuel and steam generator tube breaks resulting from faulty welds. (In breeder reactors, liquid sodium is used to transfer heat away from the reactor to manufacture steam. Volatile sodium/water interactions have occurred as a result of tube breaks in the steam generator.)
In December 1992, radioactive water from the liquid radwaste storage tank was spilled during transfer and seeped into the plant cooling pond. The incident was classified as Level 2 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).
In October 1993, the plant was shut down following a sodium leak in an auxiliary system. A small fire occurred in a cleanup circuit for the primary sodium. The incident was classified as Level 1 on the INES. In November, the plant was shut down after an increase in radiation levels was detected in the exhaust fan system. The problem was traced to a sodium leak from one of the auxiliary cooling systems. The incident was classified as Level 1 on the INES.
In May 1994, a fire broke out at the plant, which was shut down for repairs at the time. Sodium from the secondary circuit piping leaked and caught fire on contact with air. The incident was classified as Level 1 on the INES.
In July 1995, a sodium leak from one of the reactor's
secondary circuits caused a shutdown of the unit for about two weeks.
Source: Source Book: Soviet-Designed Nuclear Power Plants in Russia, Ukrane, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Bulgaria, 4th edition. Nuclear Energy Institute. 1996. (online)
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