The world’s only floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) currently – Akademik Lomonosov – built by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom has supplied heat for the first time to an urban centre, although it has been producing electricity for over a month, according to the company.
A Rosatom statement said that that the first heat from the FNPP was supplied to the network in Pevek situated in the Chukotka region of Russia’s far north for supply to the city’s fifth microdistrict in the last week of June.
“So far, the floating nuclear power plant has only produced electricity. From now on, it produces two products: in addition to electricity, it also produces heat. The FNPP was originally designed to gradually replace Chukotka’s oldest coal-powered Chaun Thermal Power Plant, which was put into operation back in 1944,” said Vitaly Trutnev, the head of Rosatom subsidiary Rosenergoatom’s Directorate for the Construction and Operation of Floating Nuclear Thermal Power Plants.
With the connection of the fifth microdistrict, this part of the city has been transferred to the so-called “closed system” of urban water supply, the statement said. Traditionally, water supply in Pevek has functioned as per the “open scheme”, whereby hot water to the apartments comes directly from the heating network. A distinctive disadvantage of such a system is that in case of a heat cut-off, hot water also gets disconnected.
The connection of the rest of the city districts to the FNPP will be carried out in stages, as soon as the city heating networks are ready. As a result, in the near future the FNPP will be able to fully replace the Chaunskaya thermal power plant, the statement added.
The FNPP was fully commissioned on May 22, 2020 and officially became the 11th nuclear power plant in Russia and the northernmost one in the world. It has generated over 57 million kWh of electricity since its connection to the grid.
The FNPP’s electric capacity is 70 MW, while its thermal capacity is up to 50 gigacalories (Gca)l/h. It currently covers about 30% of the Chaun-Bilibinskiy electrical generation system’s energy demand, and in the future, it will fully meet Chukotka’s growing demand for power, becoming a reliable source not only for the city of Pevek, but for the entire region, Rosatom said.