Russia’s floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) Akademik Lomonosov, accompanied by an icebreaker and tugboats, on 10 September approached its final mooring at the city of Pevek in the Chukotka Autonomous Region, well ahead of schedule.
The FNPP left Murmansk on 23 August 2019, accompanied by the Dikson icebreaker and two tugboats. In total, from the beginning of towing from the pier in Murmansk to Pevek, the ship covered 2640 miles (4888km). The vessel is now located at anchorage No 2, a few hundred metres from the coastline while a plan is drawn up for mooring the floating unit at the pier and tests are conducted on the FNPP following its transport. Vitaliy Trutnev, Director of the Directorate of nuclear utility Rosenergoatom, noted: “At the moment, we are preparing a mooring plan together with the port administration. Due to the features of the port and the new pier, as well as due to the large size of the power unit, the task is not easy.”
After mooring and grid connection, Akademik Lomonosov will become the world’s most northernmost NPP, a record previously held by the Bilibino NPP, which it will replace. Bilibino, which will be shut down in the early 2020s, has three commercial EGP-6 graphite-moderated, water-cooled reactor units of 11MW (net) each. Bilibino 1 was permanently shut down in January 2019.
The Akademik Lomonosov is expected to begin commercial operation by the end of 2019. Once commissioned, the number of nuclear power plants in Russia will increase from 10 to 11. It will be first in a proposed fleet of floating plants that can provide energy, heat and desalinated water to remote areas of Russia. Akademik Lomonosov is also expected to be used to power the Chaun-Bilibin mining complex in Chukotka and to supply electricity to offshore oil rigs in the Arctic.
In June Russian nuclear regulator Rostekhnadzor issued a 10-year licence to Rosenergoatom to operate the Akademik Lomonosov until 2029.
Photo: Akademik Lomonosov, Russia's Floating Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) on route to Pevek (credit: Rosatom)