Russian-built world’s first nuclear power plant reaches port, will start operations soon


World’s first floating nuclear power reactor built by Russia has been brought to the port in Pevek, Chukotka (in Russia’s far east) where it will be connected to the grid and start operation by the end of the year.

According to the Russian state giant Rosatom, the floating nuclear power station Akademik Lomonosov traversed 5,000 kilometre in the Arctic Ocean to reach its final destination. “The Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear plant arrived … at Pevek, in the autonomous district of Chukotka,” where its twin nuclear reactor will become the mainstay of the region’s power supply, Rosatom said.

“It is perhaps a small step towards sustainable development in the Arctic — but it’s a giant step towards decarbonisation of remote, off-grid zones and a turning point in the global development of small modular nuclear plants,” Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev said. When operational, Akademik Lomonosov will become the northernmost nuclear power station in the world.

The 21,000 tonne floating plant has been christened after the 18th-century Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov and it has two nuclear reactors of 35 MW each. It is relatively smaller than the land based atomic power stations, but it will provide electricity to 100,000 strong population of the region. In a statement, Rosatom said: These small nuclear reactors can operate non-stop without refuelling for three to five years, thereby considerably reducing the cost of electricity generation.”

“The reactors have the potential to work particularly well in regions with extended coastlines, power supply shortages, and limited access to electrical grids. The plant can be positioned at any point along a coast and connected to existing electrical grids,” the company added.

When most of the world nuclear power industries are staring at financial meltdown, Rosatom has been working on economically efficient innovations in the sector. The floating nuclear power plant is a step in this direction. The floating stations are one of the most promising branches of small nuclear power reactors in the future nuclear power market. Rosatom asserts that “it is especially suited for very remote areas and island states that require stable, green sources of energy.” With countries in Middle East, North Africa and South-East Asia expressing interest in the technology, the company has started working on the second-generation floating nuclear power plants.