Rosatom showcases small modular reactor technology capabilities at COP28

111

On the sidelines of the just concluded UN COP28 climate summit in Dubai, the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom hosted the Small Modular Reactors Day (SMR Day) event presenting a full range of technological solutions to achieve climate goals and ensure a low-carbon future. 

A Rosatom release said the speakers at the SMR Day panel discussion included the Director General (DG) of the World Nuclear Association, Sama Bilbao y Leon, as well as high-ranking representatives of relevant ministries and energy companies from different countries.  

Participants at the panel discussion talked about how SMRs can address a wide range of national development tasks, the statement said.  

“We are convinced that nuclear energy will inevitably become the foundation of the low-carbon balance we all strive for. Low-capacity nuclear power generation, as one of the reliable technological solutions, will occupy a worthy place in the future of nuclear energy, Rosatom DG Alexey Likhachev said in his video address at the SMR Day event.  

“I am confident that Rosatom’s proposals in the field of small modular reactors will become an effective and environmentally friendly choice for those countries that, for various reasons, have not considered nuclear generation before,” he added.  

The event opened with a colorful multimedia show demonstrating the importance of preserving harmony between humans and nature in Yakutia, where Rosatom has started the implementation of a unique low-capacity nuclear power plant project. 

The power plant is being constructed with careful consideration for the fragile Arctic ecosystem. The commissioning of the land based SMR in Yakutia is planned for 2028. 

“There are more than 70 small modular reactor projects in the world in the design stage. Rosatom is the only technology company that has moved from words to action. Today, by implementing our projects for Yakutia and Chukotka, we set ourselves the task of demonstrating the economic efficiency and reliability of SMRs. Creating a referent project in the Russian Far East will open a huge market for this technology,” Rosatom’s First Deputy Director General for Development and International Business, Kirill Komarov, said.  

Rosatom’s SMR portfolio also includes the world’s only floating nuclear power plant (FNPP), the Akademik Lomonosov. Since its commercial operation started in 2019, the FNPP has generated over 700 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity for Pevek, the northernmost city in Russia.  

On the basis of this experience, work is underway on the next-generation floating power unit technology based on the RITM-200 reactors. 

Rosatom said that it is planned that by 2029, these reactors will start supplying power for the development of the Baimskaya ore zone in Chukotka located in the Russian Far East. 

Rosatom is also implementing the “Shelf-M” microreactors project with a capacity of up to 10 MW. The first plant based on this technology is expected to be operational by 2030. 

Last year too, Rosatom held an SMR Day event in Dubai as part of its week-long programme “Breakthrough Technologies for a Sustainable Future” organised during the EXPO hosted by the emirate.  

SMRs have several advantages. They can supply power to remote regions, island states, countries with lower power needs or specific industrial projects, such as mining projects.  

There are other clear advantages of SMR technologies, including their modularity – the ability to quickly scale power up and down to meet demand – quicker construction periods and lower start-up costs.   

Small modular reactors can provide energy and heat to areas where large-capacity nuclear power plants are either economically inaccessible or inappropriate due to geographic features or territorial restrictions. 

Nuclear Asia has earlier quoted Indian experts on how the much lesser cost of setting up SMRs, as compared to large nuclear power plants, provides a major rationale for opting for small modular reactors.