Aktau (Kazachstan)

Map of Aktau

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Fast Reactor BN 350 constructed by Soviet reactor companies. BN 350 is worldwide the first and only commercial plant which is mainly used for desalination of water. Eelectricity generation capacity is 135 MW. Commercial operation started in 1973 and was shut down in 1999.

Facilities in Aktau

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
Aktau BN-350FBR196419731999

The BN-350 fast reactor came back on line January 5 after a major refurbishment program that began in April 1995.
On January 22, when routine surveillance revealed steam in the steam generator compartment, the main coolant pump was switched off manually and reactor power decreased to 300 MW, and the SG was drained, the agency said, adding that full output was recovered with three loops (of the total six) after 45 minutes. Inspection showed damage in SG feedwater piping, but there was no radiation leakage.
The BN-350 reactor, a loop-type breeder plant, began operation in 1972. Once called Shevchenko - after the penal colony it served with electricity and desalinized Caspian Sea water - it was rebaptized Aktau after Kazakhstan independence. It is Kazakhstan´s only power reactor and has been considered an"isolated" plant since the breakup of the USSR. But after the decision was made to refurbish it for longer-term operation with the help of Russian designers and engineers, and the beginnings of a nuclear regulatory regime in the new state, Aktau has improved contacts with the rest of the nuclear world.


Fire in electrical system due to a short in the fuel handling system. Fire spread via burning plastic.