Floating nuclear power plant starts journey north

30 April 2018

Russia's floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov has left Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in Saint Petersburg, where its construction began in 2009. Housing two 35 MW KLT-40S nuclear reactors, similar to those used in Russia's nuclear-powered ice breakers, Akademik Lomonosov left the shipyard on 28 April and is now heading to its permanent base in Russia's northernmost city of Pevek.

FNPP on the move - 460 (Rosatom)
Akademik Lomonosov leaves Baltiysky Zavod shipyard (Image: Rosatom)

The journey consists of two stages. The floating nuclear power plant, which has no nuclear fuel on board, will be towed from Baltiysky Zavod to Atomflot's berth in Murmansk. Then, in the summer of 2019, it will be sent from Murmansk to the seaport of Pevek. The project is being funded by Rosenergoatom, the nuclear power plant operator subsidiary of Rosatom.

Vitaliy Trutnev, head of the directorate for the plant's construction and operation, said the pace of work had been stepped up in recent months, giving Rosenergoatom confidence it would be completed on schedule.

The marine rescue service of the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport, Rosmorrechflot, is responsible for towing and shunting the plant along the Saint Petersburg-Murmansk-Pevek route, Rosatom said. The average speed under favourable conditions will be between 3.5 and 4.5 knots, it added.

All the construction work required to create on-shore infrastructure is under way in Pevek, with the pier, hydraulic engineering structures, and other buildings crucial for the mooring and operation of a floating nuclear power plant all being ready ahead of Akademik Lomonosov's arrival, it added.

Nuclear fuel will be loaded into the plant and it will be physically started up in Murmansk this autumn and the "ready-for-operation" plant will then be delivered along the Northern Sea Route to the site, unloaded at the mooring berth, and connected to the coastal infrastructure in Pevek. After it is put into operation next year, Akademik Lomonosov will replace the Bilibino nuclear power plant and the Chaunskaya thermal power plant, and will become "the most northerly nuclear power plant in the world", Rosatom said.

The first Bilibino unit is scheduled to be shut down next year and the whole plant will be shut down in 2021.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News