Rosatom opens builders camp for Yakutsk low-power NPP

1 September 2023

A temporary camp has been opened near the village of Ust-Kuyga in the Ust-Yansky district of the Russian Autonomous Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) for builders participating in construction of a low-power NPP (ASMM – Atomnoi Stantsii Maloi Moshnosti).

The ceremony was attended by the Head of the Republic of Sakha, Aisen Nikolaev, and Evgeny Pakermanov, President of JSC RAOS (part of Rosatom). Director General Alexey Likhachev participated by conference call.

The temporary camp will be a micro-district with all the necessary infrastructure including an administrative building, dormitories, a bath & laundry complex, a medical centre and other facilities. It will be able to accommodate 250 builders.

“We associate the ASMM project with the start of a positive transformation in the village of Ust-Kuyga and the Ust-Yansky district, as well as in the entire Yakut Arctic,” said Aisen Nikolaev. “With the cooperation with Rosatom, we are reviving the potential of our northern regions and changing people's lives for the better. The station will breathe new life into all the projects underway here. It will bring development to the area.” He added that the ASMM is “a unique technological solution not only for our republic and country, but also globally – the world's first ground-based low-power nuclear power plant”.

Likhachev said it is clear that the Russian Arctic needs reliable and environmentally friendly energy sources. “The idea of using small-scale nuclear power in the harsh conditions of the Far North was first realised in the 1970s when the Bilibino NPP was built to support development of the gold mining industry.” The Bilibino NPP, now being decommissioned, comprised four unique 12 MWe uranium-graphite pressure-tube EGP-6 reactors commissioned between 1974 and 1976. The decision to close them was approved in March 2016. They have been partly replaced by the Akademik Lomonosov – the world’s first floating NPP which began commercial operation in Pevek in 2020.

“Today our country has to make another industrial breakthrough,” said Likhachev. “Based on all our experience, we are offering ultra-modern technologies. The new ground-based nuclear power plant will be a compact, safe, controllable and independent power source.”

The ASMM will used the latest RITM-200N reactor facility, which is based on many years of experience in operating small reactors to power ships of the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet (more than 400 reactor-years). To date, eight RITM-200 reactors have already been manufactured and installed on four universal icebreakers. The ASMM will need refuelling once every five years. During the construction it will provide more than 1,000 new jobs and its operation will require 600. Commissioning is scheduled for 2028.

Image courtesy of Rosatom

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