Russia loads fuel into floating power plant

03 October 2018

Russia yesterday completed loading fuel into the two reactors of its first floating nuclear power plant, Akademik Lomonosov. Rosenergoatom, the operator subsidiary of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, announced the milestone today, saying this is the final key stage before the physical start-up of the plant.

The loading of fuel into the reactors aboard the floating plant began on 24 July (Image: Rosenergoatom)

Akademik Lomonosov is based in Murmansk at the site of Atomflot, another Rosatom subsidiary. It will be towed to and then put into operation at Pevek, Russia's northernmost city, where it will gradually replace the Bilibino nuclear power plant and the Chaunskaya combined heat and power plant, which are being retired.

Vitaly Trutnev, head of the construction and operation of the floating nuclear power plant, said that, by the end of this year, all the final technological operations at the facility will have been completed. Physical launch of the two reactor units will start in the coming weeks, once approval to do so has been received from Russian regulator Rostechnadzor, he added.

Akademik Lomonosov - 144 metres in length, 30 metres wide and having a displacement of 21,000 tonnes - left the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in Saint Petersburg on 28 April. It arrived in Murmansk on 17 May after having been towed over 4000 kilometres and travelling through four seas: the Baltic, Northern, Norwegian and Barents.

Rosatom has said it is already working on a second generation of floating nuclear power unit which will be equipped with two RITM-200M reactors, each having a capacity of 50 MWe. It noted that although having a greater generating capacity, the new "optimised" units will be smaller in size than those used by Akademik Lomonosov.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News