Licence for nuclear heat and power at Seversk

16 November 2009

Site licenses have been granted for the new Seversk nuclear power and heating plant in Russia's Tomsk Oblast. 


A street in Seversk named after
Igor Kurchatov, a pioneer of both
Russian nuclear power and weapons 
(Image: Alexey Lubin)
The plant will be the first civil nuclear power facility near Seversk, a city of 100,000 inhabitants closed to outsiders and known as Tomsk-7 during the Soviet era. It is intended to provide a major boost to power supplies in the entire region as well as directly supplying 7.5 petajoules per year in heat to the local area.


The power plant will feature two 1200 MWe VVER pressurized water reactors. They were originally slated for construction by 2015 and 2017 but were deferred for two years, in part because of a drop in power demand on the global recession. Nevertheless, vice governor of the Tomsk region Sergei Tochilina said obtaining the licenses is an important milestone in the project.


Steam turbines for Seversk will be supplied by Alstom AtomEnergoMash in the first project for the joint venture. They will be the first in Russia to feature half-speed turbines after Alstom's Arabelle technology. The overall cost of the new plant is around $4.6 billion.


Seversk already hosts a number of historic nuclear facilities at the Siberian Chemical Combine, including an enrichment facility equipped to handle uranium recovered from used nuclear fuel and two military plutonium production reactors which supplied heat and power to the town. These were shut down permanently in April and June 2008 and their heating role taken by a fossil burner.