China has begun laying the keel of the hull for Russia’s first upgraded floating NPP (FNPP) for Russia – a specially adapted Arctic version which will use new RITM-200 reactors. Russia’s first FNPP, the Akademik Lomonosov was connected to the grid in December 2019, and at the end of May 2020 began commercial operation. It is equipped with two 35MWe KLT-40S reactors. The RITM-200 reactors, developed by OKBM Afrikantov have a capacity of 50MWe.

The length of the barge under construction in China will be 140 metres and the width 30 metres. The weight of the hull without equipment will be 9,549 tons and with equipment 19,088 tons. It is planned that the hull will be delivered to Russia by the end of 2023 for the completion and installation of the reactors and other equipment.  

This is the first of four planned FNPP units with an installed electric capacity of 106MWe each, designed for operation in the waters of Cape Nagleingyn in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. The contract for their supply was signed by the mechanical engineering division of Rosatom, Atomenergomash (AEM), in 2021.

Because of the tight deadlines for the implementation of the project and the heavy workload of domestic shipbuilding enterprises, it was decided to manufacture hulls for the first two power units at a foreign shipyard. The construction scheme and the shipyard-builder of the hulls of the third and fourth FNPPs will be decided by the end of the year.

AEM General Director Andrey Nikipelov noted: “This is a special project for us for several reasons: firstly, because AEM plays a new role as a supplier of the final product – floating power units, for which we are responsible from start to finish. Secondly, this is the start of a whole family of FNPPs, different in power and purpose – in Arctic and tropical versions – which AEM is ready to offer to the market and which undoubtedly have a very serious potential for the implementation of large industrial projects and exports."

Russia is already manufacturing equipment for the power plant. The RITM-200S reactors that will be installed on the FNPPs are fully manufactured at AEM enterprises. OKBM Afrikantov is designer and developer. The reactor vessel blanks are cast near St Petersburg at AEM-Special Steels, and the machining and final assembly of the vessel is carried out at the ZiO-Podolsk plant near Moscow.

Image: The keel laying ceremony (courtesy of Atomenergomash)