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Floating Nuclear Power Plants Are Ready To Shape Global Energy Market

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Floating Nuclear Power Plants Are Ready To Shape Global Energy Market

On September 14, the Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear power plant reached the port city of Pevek in Russia’s Chukotka after covering a distance of more than 4,700km from Murmansk. After connecting to power grids there, it will become a fully-fledged energy producing facility, supplying electricity to the city of Pevek and the Chukotka Autonomous Region. This will include replacing the capacity of the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant, which will be finally stopped in early 2020.

The Akademik Lomonosov is the lead project for a series of low-power mobile transportable power units. Floating nuclear power plants (FNPPs) in the Far North and the Far East are a new class of energy sources based on Russian nuclear shipbuilding technologies. The station is equipped with two KLT-40S icebreaker-type reactors which are capable of generating up to 70 MW of electricity and 50 Gcal/h of thermal energy in the nominal operating mode. This is enough to ensure that energy consumption demands are satisfied for a city with a population of about 100 000 people.

The Akademik Lomonosov has a length of 144 meters and a width of 30 meters. It has a displacement of 21 500 tones and a crew of 69 people. The reactors were designed by OKBM Afrikantov and assembled by Nizhniy Novgorod Research and Development Institute Atomenergoproekt. The reactor vessels were produced by Izhorskiye Zavody. The turbo generators were supplied by the Kaluga Turbine Plant.

The FNPP’s planned service life is 40 years. The operating time of reactor installations between reloading of the core is three years. All nuclear fuel and radioactive material handling systems are located inside the FNPP. The core reloading and storage of spent fuel is carried out on board the FNPP.

The FNPP can carry sufficient enriched uranium to power the two reactors for 12 years. Then, it, with its spent fuel, should be towed back to Russia, where the radioactive waste will be processed. In addition, such power units allow creating powerful desalination plants on their bases.

Initially, the Akademik Lomonosov project cost was expected to be $140 million. However, during construction, the cost increased to about $574 million. This includes $107 million for coastal infrastructure.

The State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom is already working on the second generation FNPP called the Optimized Floating Power Unit. It will be smaller and more powerful than its predecessor. The Optimized Floating Power Unit is to be equipped with two RITM-200M reactors with a total capacity of 100 MW. There is no disclosed plan of how many of these power plants will be produced. Currently, Russia operates 11 nuclear power plants, including the Akademik Lomonosov.

Russia’s Energy giant, Gazprom, reportedly has plans to use at least 5 FNPPs for oil and gas field development as well as for support of infrastructure for transportation operations. Possible locations where they could be used include the Shtokman natural gas field in the Barents Sea, and in the developing oil and gas fields on the Yamal Peninsula.

FNPPs would be useful along the Northern Sea Route, in and around the Arctic. The floating nuclear power plants will solve the issue of the energy supply in the region and will make possible the creation of a comprehensive support infrastructure there. According to Rosatom, 15 countries, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Algeria, Namibia, Cape Verde and Argentina, have already shown interest in hiring floating nuclear power plants.

Floating nuclear power plants will solve energy issues in areas where construction of classic nuclear plants is not possible (for example, because of a seismic hazard) or is too costly and complicated. In Russia, this could help to provide additional electricity to port cities such as Sevastopol, Novorossiysk or Vladivistok.

African states, many of which suffer from constant energy shortages, also could solve their issues with help from FNPPs. In addition, the deployed FNPPs would make feasible the the creation of desalination plants providing massive amounts of clean, drinkable water for the local population. Therefore, another key humanitarian issue in Africa will be resolved.

One more likely location is the Arabian Peninsula. For example, an FNPP could be employed to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen after the end of the Saudi-led invasion. Such a ship deployed near al-Hudaydah could provide western Yemen with energy and clean water.

Furthermore, floating nuclear power plants can be used on river routes, for example in Russia and throughout Asia. Some United States cities in remote areas such as Alaska might also benefit, since, until the US makes some adequate icebreakers, they would still need to ask Russia for assistance in case of crises.

The launch of the first ever floating nuclear power plant has become an important engineering breakthrough that will impact notably the energy sphere on a global scale. This technology, which could potentially provide safe and clean energy to a large part of the planet, could also be provided at an attractive price.

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  • Tudor Miron

    Energy – the source of living. They call Russia “Gas station country”?

    • BMWA1

      But does Rosatom have agreement of Greta?

      • Tudor Miron

        Using children to achieve hidden objectives by grown up adults is the worst form of scum. Seems that not much have changed sisne Children’s crusade.

        • BMWA1

          Or 4th Crusade also

          • FlorianGeyer

            Yes, and that worked out as any sane adult would have expected.
            Deadly for the kids though.

        • FlorianGeyer

          It’s another form of paedophilia ,Tudor.

          • Tudor Miron

            It is. It is abusing of children’s innocence while at the same time abusing adults softness towards children.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Russia should sell some to Britain , as the Nuclear Power Station building programme here has stalled due to stupidity and greed.

      The silly battery powered electric cars we will all have to buy after 2030 will need electric power that we will not have :)

      • Tudor Miron

        At this point those electric cars are not any “greener” than IC cars becaue lion share of electricity produced by very “ungreen” methods. But II agree that electricity demand will incrrease :)

        • FlorianGeyer

          Correct, and in the UK and elsewhere there are weight limits on vehicles.
          A popular van/light truck size is the 3.5 tonne category, as people can drive them on a car licence.

          The battery powered vans of that weight weigh circa 750 kilos more than a diesel engine van.

          It is illegal to exceed the weight of 3.5 tonnes, for ‘Road Safety’, with a petrol of diesel van BUT a battery powered van of the same type is allowed to weigh a maximum of 2.25 tonnes.

          Its just another example of creating regulations to suit a political agenda.

    • dutchnational

      Is that why , still, a large part of russian countryside has no electricity?

      • Tudor Miron

        Dutchy, we know you’re “smart” as a rock but this is too much even for your kind.

        • Toronto Tonto

          Says the Moron .

    • frankly

      Was a nuke submariner. It felt like a miracle every time we made steam. The Russians seem to have done more than anyone else to master this technology.

      A case could be made that they have abundant other sources, yet still they invest and innovate.

      It would be a fascinating article to see the nuclear western approach contrasted to Russia’s.

      Intuitively the West seems to have scared itself and I don’t think has built any new major products. Russia just keeps plugging away and learning news better methods.

      Boiled down the fossil fuels is something you steal from the earth, whereas nuclear is something you create, yes some from nature, but mostly it’s the fruit of human creativity. Stupid people steal oil, smart folks create a new world.

      I look forward to the day when evil people do not dominate the agenda for the rest of us.

      • Toronto Tonto

        your kidding right .

        • frankly

          Projecting that since you are such a joker the rest of us are too? Why don’t you go back to mommy, isn’t it about time for your meds?

          • Toronto Tonto

            Cant fix stupid but we can send them on their merry way to meet the lord .

          • frankly

            You are certain proof of that.

  • Feudalism Victory

    Well I hope they tested shooting at it. Someone at some point will try especially if they’re all over the world.

    Otherwise super cool tech.

  • Hide Behind

    All nuke plants leak all the time, they are designed to vent, they have to vent or they will explode.
    C’mon folks, just Google how a nuke plant operates.
    So they only vent safe levels of nuclear steam from cooling towers, but nuclear particilates are cilulative in animal ,plant and fish life.
    Russia once the wall fell was paid by US to dump its nuclear waste into old coal, mines salt domes already polluted lakes in itsbeastern realms and they still do today.
    Where does old ndecommisioned nuke plants go to, as all the plant materials cannot be left sitting there.
    US land mass is already one of worlds most irradiated nations on earth with some 50 cities recieving over 1,000,000 rads of gamma weakly.
    The cumulative effects will eventually make those cities permanently dangerous to human inhabitants, shortening lives and causing genetic defects of new born.
    Nuke power is not green power.
    IsraelsnDesmona nuke plant has been venting its steam towardsmJordan since it was built, it has never releaded.the rad count in the.dream from its production of weapons grade nuclear materials .

    • PZIVJ

      “An operating nuclear power plant produces very small amounts of radioactive gases and liquids, as well as small amounts of direct radiation. If you lived within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, you would receive an average radiation dose of about 0.01 millirem per year. To put this in perspective, the average person in the United States receives an exposure of 300 millirem per year from natural background sources of radiation.”
      But accidents and spent fuel rod storage are a whole different matter.

    • Tudor Miron

      You better keep hiding behind :) I grew up in Obninsk (first nuclear power plant in the world) and my father worked the for almost 40 years. Your stories may work for uneducated folks who learn by google :)

    • frankly

      All nuke plants leak all the time, they are designed to vent, they have to vent or they will explode.

      The primary core, depending on the design, is pressurized and only vents in extreme situations. But I only spent 3 years on a nuclear sub so perhaps you can site a source more comprehensive than actual experience.

  • Andrei

    This is really impressive:: While America spends billions of dollars on army and zero on different infrastructures around the world. Russia not only makes itself a very powerful energy producing country in the world it also becomes more powerful than any nation in matters of peace and stability around the world, and countries around the world are starting to become reluctant to work with Americans because of their continued lies and corruption and The history of deceiving others nation

  • Hide Behind

    There are places within US at over 50 million rads a year, approximately 40 cities a day recieve over the pre Fukushima.disaster that required mandatory evacuation
    recieve over 450 millions of rads a year, US.government no longer puts out numbers oF beta rads, WHY.
    THE READINGS AT INDIAN POINT WERE.LIFE THREATENING, AS WERE THEY IN CALI AND HAD BEEN POLLUTING AT DANGEOUSMLEVELS FOR YEARS.
    COLORADO Springs, ,Boise Idaho, Hanford Reach and Spokane, Washington, Detroit Michigan, and.plants in Maine all releasing what.amounts to levels unsustainable to life.
    Pure
    Bullshit put forth by nuke plants as to amounts put forth by nuke plant and nuke weapon assembly plants.
    Think not then go to CDC and get cancer amounts and death rates for 25 mile diameter from nuke plants.
    Nuke power is no more than a powerful Cartel, money.
    They allow acceptable levels of deaths due to radiation, in their own f’n words.

    • PZIVJ

      Beta radiation can be be stopped by something as thin as aluminum foil.
      If you spend to much time in sunlight, you will take in a lot of UV radiation.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    nuclear tech varies—recent improvements have made it more appealing. Sweden is one proof

  • JeanGabriel

    The Yamal peninsula oil and gas field IS NOT LOCATED IN KAMTCHATKA !!! It is situated on the arctic coast, along the Ob Gulf. Thank you for your good work, but please check your geography a little bit better.

  • Toronto Tonto

    Another nuclear disaster coming and Russia to thank once again .

    • frankly

      So Nagasaki and Hiroshima were like some grand humanitarian gesture?

      What a freak you are, 2 a holes, one in the usual spot and the other where most people have a mouth

      • Toronto Tonto

        You do know the difference right stupid , Japan is populated in these areas Chernobyl is not and other parts of the terrorist wasteland of Russia will be or are in the same category .

        • frankly

          Chernobyl is in Ukraine pot kettle black, wipe your mouth boy you got some brown stuff on it.

          • Toronto Tonto

            It was your kremlin idiots in charge back then dufus .

  • Nosferatu

    Some time ago. US created the first ever nuclear technology. It used it to bomb civilian targets with over 200 000 civilian causalties. USSR was the first to create a peacefull nuclear application when it was first to launch nuclear powerplant. In this spirit they continue to this day. US just keeps bombing everyone, while Russia is on its way to save the civilization from destruction.