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TMK to supply Rosatom with unique pipes for its pilot fast neutron reactor

TMK has developed unique pipes it will supply to Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division for its BREST-OD-300 experimental demonstration power unit. As part of a project to establish the closed nuclear fuel cycle, TMK will produce over 200 thousand meters of pipe to equip the steam generators of a fast neutron reactor.

A technology to produce extra-long heat-exchange pipes made of special durable, ductile steel was developed exclusively for the new power unit. The high-strength austenitic steel withstands both steam water and superheated steam, as well as liquid lead, which is used in a reactor as a coolant. At the same time, the steel’s chemical, physical and mechanical properties remain stable along the entire length of the product. The extra-long heat-exchange pipe was developed by TMK subsidiary TMK-INOX together with partners – the N.A. Dollezhal Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (NIKIET), the I.P. Bardin Central Research Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy and the Russian Research Institute of the Tube & Pipe Industries (ROSNITI), which is part of TMK. 

“Over the three years of cooperation between scientists, metallurgists and research partners, we have succeeded in developing a technology for producing unique, globally unmatched pipes made of innovative steel. We have made capacity upgrades and have already started to produce a pilot batch. By the end of 2023, TMK-INOX plans to produce and supply to the customer 209 thousand meters of pipe for a reactor designed as a breakthrough technology in nuclear power,” said Sergey Chikalov, TMK Deputy CEO for Technological Development and Technical Sales.

The customer is ZiO-Podolsk plant, part of Atomenergomash. TMK-INOX is manufacturing equipment for the BREST-OD-300 power unit, which is being developed as part of Rosatom’s Breakthrough Project. The project aims to take nuclear power to a new level, developing, creating and commercializing the closed nuclear fuel cycle based on fast neutron reactors. Fast neutron reactors enable full or extended fuel breeding with repeated fuel recycling and reuse in reactors. This unique ability of fast reactors to breed fissile materials opens up the prospects for obtaining an unlimited resource base for nuclear power and minimizes the amount of spent nuclear fuel.

TMK and Rosatom teamed up for the project under a cooperation agreement signed in April 2019 and providing for collaboration in the production and use of high-tech tubular products, including the development of new types of steel pipe. The agreement outlines strategic areas for cooperation, including scientific and technical cooperation to develop new technical standards, and research and development (R&D) to develop new steel grades and modify the surface properties of steel products.

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