Fuel for Russia's first floating plant

20 July 2010

Russian nuclear fuel fabricator TVEL announced that its Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) subsidiary will produce the first batch of nuclear fuel in 2011 for Russia's first floating nuclear power plant. Siting studies for the second such plant have also started. 


The completed hull of the first floating plant - the Akademik Lomonosov - was launched on 30 June at the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in Saint Petersburg. The vessel will house two 35 MW KLT-40S nuclear reactors, similar to those used in Russia's nuclear-powered ice breakers.


FNPP Akademik Lomonosov (Rosenergoatom)
The hull of the Akademik Lomonosov before its launch last month (Image: Rosenergoatom) 

Rosatom plans to load the fuel into the two reactors by 2012, after which the vessel will be towed for deployment in Vilyuchinsk, in the Kamchatka region in Russia's far east.


According to a Nuclear.Ru report, the potential operating life of the floating plant will be 38 years, comprising of three 12-year cycles, with outages of an average eight months in between.


Siting studies 


Meanwhile, the Chukotka Autonomous District administration announced that oceanographers and geophysicists have begun siting studies at the second planned deployment site for a floating nuclear power plant. Rosenergoatom announced plans in April 2007 to launch a floating plant near the port of Pevek on the East Siberian Sea. A second plant is expected to follow there.


The administration said that, "So far, scientists from the specialized survey company SevKavTIZIS have drilled the ground along the shoreline and started the second phase of the study, which involves the examination of the seabed with specially installed sensors." The work under this phase will continue until 1 August. Engineering, surveying and geological engineering will continue at Pevek in the autumn. For a more detailed study of the site of the plant, drilling will be conducted directly from the ice in the bay.


Rosenergoatom will hold public hearings next month on the installation of the floating plant at Pevek. The floating plants are planned to replace capacity lost with the closure of the Chaun thermal power plant.


Researched and written 

by World Nuclear News