Preparatory work stepped up for Russia's first land-based SMR

09 February 2024

Construction of worker camps and a new road to the site is under way for the Yakutia small modular reactor project, with Rosenergoatom officially designated as the operating organisation by parent company Rosatom.

How the SMR could look (Image: Rosatom)

The small modular reactor (SMR) is a water-cooled RITM-200N 55 MW reactor that has been adapted from the RITM-200 series used to power Russia's latest fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers. It will be built near Ust-Kuyga in Yakutia (also known as Sakha) in Russia's Arctic north, with the aim of commissioning in 2028.

Nuclear regulator Rostekhnadzor granted the construction licence in April 2023. In an update on progress Rosatom said "preparatory work ... is proceeding at full tilt: the building of the first construction camp for 250 persons has been completed; the first stage construction of the second camp for 683 persons has commenced and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024". Construction of a new 12 kilometre stretch of road linking Ust-Kuyga and the SMR site has started, it added, as well as other construction base facilities, and 9,500 tonnes of cargo is scheduled to be delivered om the next few months.

The aim of the plant is "to provide a clean, cost-effective and stable source of energy to the remote Arctic territories of Yakutia with a decentralised energy supply. The electric power of the station will be at least 55 MW, the service life of non-replaceable equipment will be up to 60 years".

Although it is planned to be the first land-based SMR in Russia, the country has plans for a widespread roll-out of small reactors in the year ahead - it says its goal is to have up to 20% of the global market for small and micro modular reactors. Its estimate is that they will number in the hundreds in the coming years.

Within Rosatom's structure, with the SMR, Rosenergoatom acts as the technical customer and operating organisation, and Rusatom Overseas as the developer.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News