Assembly of Russian floating plant starts

20 May 2009

A ceremony has been held to mark the start of the assembly of the world's first floating nuclear power plant in St Petersburg, Russia. Construction had earlier been transferred from Severodvinsk.

The keel was originally laid for the first floating plant - the Akademik Lomonosov - at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk in April 2007. However, in 2008, Rosatom said that it was to transfer its construction to the Baltiysky Zavod shipbuilding company in Saint Petersburg because Sevmash was inundated with military contracts.


Click to enlarge
Five floating reactors could go to Gazprom to power oil and
gas extraction in Kola and Yamal, with four more used in
northern Yakutia in connection with mining operations. Seven
or eight units could be produced by 2015. (Click to enlarge)

A contract was signed on 27 February 2009 between Rosatom and the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard for completion of the plant. The contract was valued at almost 10 billion roubles ($315 million). A new keel has now been laid at Saint Petersburg for the first floating plant. As part of the contract, Baltiysky Zavod will receive the incomplete floating plants started by Sevmash.
The first plant will house two 35 MW KLT-40S nuclear reactors, similar to those used in Russia's nuclear powered ice breakers, and two generators, and will be capable of supplying a city of 200,000 people. OKBM will design and supply the reactors, while Kaluga Turbine Plant will supply the turbo-generators.


The Akademik Lomonosov was originally destined for the Archangelsk industrial shipyard, which is near to Severodvinsk in northwestern Russia, but the vessel is now destined for Vilyuchinsk, in the Kamchatka region in Russia's far east.

Baltiysky Zavod is to complete the floating plant in 2011. It should then be ready for transportation by the second quarter of 2012 and is set to be handed over to Energoatom by the end of 2012. Rosatom is planning to construct seven further floating nuclear power plants in addition to the one now under construction, with several remote areas under consideration for their deployment. Gazprom is expected to use a number of the floating units in order to exploit oil and gas fields near the Kola and Yamal Peninsulars.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sergey Obozov, director general of Energoatom, said that construction of a second floating plant may start in the autumn of 2010. He said, "We already have agreement with the authorities of Chukotka to station the plant in Pevek."