What's the most powerful nuclear reactor that was built?

2023 Jan 23

The most powerful nuclear reactor ever built is the BN-800 Fast Neutron Reactor, located at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station in Russia. The reactor has a thermal power output of 880 MW and an electrical power output of 485 MW. It is a fast neutron reactor, which means it uses fast neutrons to sustain the nuclear fission chain reaction, as opposed to the thermal neutrons used in traditional reactors.

The BN-800 is a Generation IV reactor, which means it is designed to be more efficient and safer than previous generations of nuclear reactors. It uses a liquid metal coolant, typically sodium, which allows it to operate at higher temperatures and pressures, and it has a higher conversion efficiency. It also has a closed fuel cycle, which means it can recycle used fuel and reduce the amount of waste produced.

The BN-800 is primarily used for electricity production and for the production of isotopes for medical and industrial use. It also has the potential for transmutation of high-level nuclear waste, as well as for the production of hydrogen via high-temperature electrolysis. The BN-800 represents a significant achievement in nuclear technology and it’s considered as a major step towards sustainable nuclear energy. However, the BN-800 is still in testing phase, and the data from the tests are still being analyzed to evaluate the potential and the safety of the reactor.