Rosatom creates joint venture to build floating nuclear power units for foreign markets

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An agreement has been reached earlier this month between the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom and the TSS Group to establish a joint venture, on an equal shareholding basis, for construction of a series of floating power units (FPUs) for foreign markets, according to a Rosatom statement.  

The agreement, signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, envisages creating a fleet of floating power units with RITM-200M reactors, with capacity of not less than 100 MW and a service life of up to 60 years, for overseas markets with provision of sale of electricity from the FPUs in the countries where they are installed, the statement said. 

“The agreement signed is a framework agreement. Legally and financially binding documents are expected to be signed later. The partners consider the countries of the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa as target markets. The energy fleet commissioning is anticipated in the period from 2029 to 2036,” it added. 

“Starting from the moment the world’s first floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) Akademik Lomonosov was commissioned in 2019, both state and commercial companies in Russia and abroad have been scrutinizing that new product of Rosatom with great interest. Now we are offering the market a whole family of FPUs that differ in power capacity and purpose, designed in Arctic and tropical versions,” Rosatom’s Deputy General Director for Machinery Building and Industrial Solutions, Andrey Nikipelov, said in a statement.  

“In addition to environmental friendliness and stability of operation, floating nuclear power units are able to ensure energy independence from the main power grids, and in a broader sense, protection from the energy markets volatility. The use of FPUs gives the companies and entire countries the opportunity to get a forecasted electricity price for decades to come,” he added.  

“The problem of ecology and generation of the low-carbon energy in particular is becoming more and more acute in the world. As of today, a floating nuclear power unit can provide that unique combination of power source characteristics, and the modularity of the source, which is the ability to increase power capacity as quickly and flexibly as possible, allows the client to receive as much energy as he needs delivered to the place he requires it,” TSS Group Board Chairman, Sergey Velichko, said.  

Rosatom said the floating power unit is a new effective solution to the challenges of energy supply to remote areas, large investment mining projects and energy-consuming industrial facilities.  

“Currently, Rosatom is implementing the first ‘serial’ project for the ecological energy supply to a large industrial cluster, that is, construction of four floating power units for the Baimskaya ore zone is underway. Affordable energy is not only key to the dynamic development of industry, but also a factor of growth of the population’s well-being in emerging economies,” the statement said. 

Small modular reactors (SMRs) can play a crucial role in achieving energy transition goals effectively. Apart from providing for both electricity and process heat requirements, these have potential to complement variable supply renewables through flexible operations. SMRs can also be installed in remote off-grid locations.   

SMRs are conceptualized in such a way that their systems, structures and components are manufactured in a controlled factory environment, then transported to the project site and installed with a view to optimise the time and cost of the SMR project. They have potential deployment advantages like reduced land area requirement and passive safety system.    

The RITM-200 is an integrated generation III+ pressurised water reactor (PWR) designed to produce 55 MW electricity. The SMR project based on RITM-200 reactors features compact design, modularity, short construction period and high safety standards with the service life exceeding 60 years.  The RITM series SMRs incorporate all the best features of the time-tested PWR technology. It has a compact integrated layout placing equipment within the steam generator casing, halving system weight compared to earlier designs and an improved ability to operate in rolling seas.