`ROSATOM' Constructs World's First Floating Nuclear Power Plant
Chennai, May 2018: World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) `Akademik Lomonosov’ has been developed by ROSATOM, the Russian State run Atomic Energy Corporation.
The FNPP was designed to make it possible to supply electricity to hard-to-reach areas, regardless of transport infrastructure, landscape, and cost of fuel delivery. The reactor have the potential to work particularly well in regions with extended coastlines, power supply shortages, and limited access to electrical grids.
Up to 40% of the cost of fossil fuel-based electricity generation is attributed to the price of coal, oil or gas, as well as to the cost of their delivery. This figure is even higher for especially remote locations. The small size, light weight, and fixed cost of the FNPP eliminate many such challenges. The small nuclear reactor can operate non-stop without the need for refuelling for three to five years, thereby considerably reducing the cost of electricity generation.
The nuclear floating unit is equipped with two KLT-40C reactor systems similar to those used on icebreakers. The vessel is 144 metres long and 30 metres wide, and has a displacement of 21,000 tonnes.
Akademik Lomonosov – the first ship of this kind – was named for 18th century Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov.
The lifecycle of the FNPP is 40 years with the possibility of being extended to up to 50 years. After decommissioning, the unit will be towed to a special deconstruction and recycling facility. No spent nuclear fuel or radioactive waste will be left behind as it will be taken to the special storage facilities.
ROSATOM is already working on second generation Floating Power Units, or Optimized Floating Power Units (OFPUs), which will be equipped with two RITM(Rhythmn)-200M reactors (each with a capacity of 50 MW). In additional to having a greater power capacity, OFPUs will be smaller than predecessor.
The Floating Nuclear Power Unit Lomonosov has been now stationed in Murmansk in Russia to be loaded with fuel. Once loaded with fuel Lomonosov will be towed to the town of Pevek in Chukotka (Russian Far East) next year (in 2019), Here, upon connection to the grid, it will become the world’s so far only operational floating nuclear power plant and the northernmost nuclear installation in the world. It will replace a coal-fired power plant and an aging nuclear power plant Bilibino, supplying over 50,000 people with electricity and reducing carbon footprint in the Arctic by tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
Average towing speed is estimated at 3.5-4.5 knots. All necessary construction works to create on-shore infrastructure are underway in Pevek. The pier, hydraulic engineering structures, and other buildings, crucial for the mooring of the floating unit and operation of a FNPP will be ready to use upon Akademik Lomonosov arrival in Pevek.
En route to Murmansk Lomonosov sailed over 4,000 km and travelled four seas: Baltic, Northern, Norwegian and Barents. In the waters off Norway’s west coast Lomonosov was visited by Norwegian media and environmentalists.