Arctic SMR plans make progress

09 August 2021

Rusatom Overseas has been licensed as competent to construct Russia's first SMR power plant on land. The plant, based on the RITM-200 reactor design, is scheduled to operate in the Russian Arctic town of Usk-Kuyga from 2028.

How a power plant based on RITM-200 technology could appear (Image: Rusatom Overseas)

“We have reached another milestone in the project for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Yakutia region" said Oleg Sirazetdinov, vice president of Rusatom Overseas. The licence comes from a department within the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision, Rostekhnadzor, that deals with radiological safety in an inter-regional context.

Usk-Kuyga is a town of around 1000 inhabitants on the Arctic coast of Russia's far east in the Republic of Yakutia. The regional government has agreed to take up to 50 MWe of the plant’s production.

In November last year, Rosatom said it had been working on "various engineering surveys to evaluate the suitability of the chosen site, including a hydrometeorological survey, an environmental survey, a geodetic survey, and a geological survey". On 5 August the company said most of the survey work at the station construction site has been completed, and a preliminary version of the environmental impact assessment and the licence substantiation materials have been developed. Public hearings in Ust-Kuyga in June presented information on the planned plant's environmental impact.

With the start of the construction planned for 2024, Sirazetdinov said the new licence "is an important step towards the successful implementation of the project." The new reactors are scheduled to generate power in 2028.

RITM reactors are family of integral pressurised water reactors designed by OKBM Afrikantov which are usually used in pairs. Versions of the design are already used in three of the latest icebreakers - Arktika, Sibir and Ural - and are proposed for floating nuclear power plants. Construction in Usk-Kuyga will be the first deployment of the version adapted for use on land.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News