World’s first floating nuclear plant operational in Russia


Akademik Lomonosov, the world’s first “floating” nuclear power plant (FNPP) for installation in remote areas, has been started and brought to 10 per cent of its capacity, Russian state-run atomic energy corporation Rosatom announced on Tuesday.

In a statement here, Rosatom said that it had started up the first reactor unit of Lomonosov which would be towed to its final destination by next autumn, as scheduled.

“We successfully conducted tests in accordance with the schedule. There is no doubt that by next autumn we will tow Akademik Lomonosov to Pevek, as planned. We consider this project as a new product which is of interest, not only for the grid-isolated Russian Arctic regions, but also for a number of other countries,” Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev said in a statement.

Rosatom are also the equipment suppliers and consultants for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu.

The power start-up is a series of functionality and safety tests conducted on Lomonosov’s reactor required to be completed before connection to the grid, the statement said.

“During each stage, various operation modes are tested in order to ensure the FNPP’s safety. All tests are likely to be completed by March 2019.

“In the second half of 2019, the FNPP will be transported to its final destination to the port of Pevek in Russia’s extreme north-eastern region of Chukotka, where it will replace the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant and the Chaunskaya coal-fired power plant,” it added.

An FNPP is basically a mobile, low-capacity reactor unit operable in remote areas isolated from the main power distribution system, or in places hard to access by land. They are designed to maintain both uninterruptible power and plentiful desalinated water supply in remote areas.

The FNPP has a capacity of 70MW and is equipped with two reactors of 35MW each. According to Rosatom, an FNPP’s operational life span is 40 years, with the possibility of being extended up to 50 years.

Russia is already working on second generation floating nuclear power plant which will be equipped with two reactors with an increased capacity of 50MW each, the company said.