Russia approves operation of 70 Megawatt floating nuclear reactor

Russia has approved the operation of the floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov. The authority said on 9 December it had approved the project in Russia’s northernmost city of Pevek that is being funded by Rosenergoatom, the nuclear power plant operator subsidiary of Rosatom.

Akademik Lomonosov houses two 35 MW KLT-40S nuclear reactors, similar to those used in Russia’s nuclear-powered ice breakers.

The keel of Academician Lomonosov was laid in April 2007 at Sevmash in Severodvinsk, but in August 2008 Rosatom cancelled the contract – apparently due to the military workload at Sevmash – and transferred it to the Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg, which has experience in building nuclear icebreakers. New keel-laying took place in May 2009 and the 21,500 tonne hull – 144 meters long, 30 meters wide – was launched at the end of June 2010. The two 35 MWe KLT-40S reactors were installed in October 2013.

Ships carrying cargo to support Akademik Lomonosov arrived at the port of Pevek, in the Chukotka district of Russia, in October last year. The plant is to be towed to Murmansk in May, be loaded with fuel in October and commissioned in November next year.

The plant is intended to replace the outgoing capacity of the Bilibino nuclear power plant in the Chukotka district. The first Bilibino unit is scheduled to be shut down in 2019 and the whole plant will be shut down in 2021.



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