An agreement of intent and cooperation for the construction of low-power NPP (ASMM – Atomnoi Stantsii Maloi Moshnosti) to supply energy to the Norilsk Industrial Region (NPR) has been signed by the Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev and the President of Norilsk Nickel, Vladimir Potanin. The agreement stipulates that the companies will study possible options, determine the priority site for the ASMM, the configuration of the station and the infrastructure necessary for its construction and operation, and also consider the optimal model for implementation of the project.

The NPR power system belongs to the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company (NTEC, part of the Norilsk Nickel group). Geographically and technologically, it is isolated from the Unified Energy System of Russia, which puts it under increasing pressure. As part of its strategic development plans, Norilsk Nickel is considering the possibility of building new generating capacities. Rosatom has successful experience in operating a floating NPP (FNPP) in a similarly isolated energy system – the Akademik Lomonosov moored at Pevek in Chukotka.

“Norilsk Nickel and the Norilsk industrial region are developing, and therefore beyond 2030 we will need more electricity,” commented Vladimir Potanin. “The solution could be a nuclear power plant – a safe source of energy with minimal impact on the environment. Cooperation with Rosatom will allow Norilsk Nickel to gain access to advanced energy technologies, and Rosatom to develop the use of low-power NPPs in remote regions of Russia,”

“As part of our partnership, we plan to study the needs of the Norilsk industrial region and select the most suitable project for energy supply,” noted Alexey Likhachev. “A high-tech NPP project based on the latest RITM-400 reactor plant could be considered as a priority. Our low-power projects offer a reliable source of electricity with long-term predictable tariffs for consumers. In addition, nuclear energy can make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change due to the absence of CO emissions during the energy generation process, which is extremely important for the northern territories of our country. All these advantages make ASMM technologies in demand for large industrial consumers who responsibly approach the choice of energy supply sources for their production facilities and territories of presence.”

Rosatom is developing a line of projects based on NPPs for remote northern territories with decentralised energy supplies. One project already underway is for a ASMM in Yakutia. The facility will serve one of the largest mineral resource centres in Russia and will provide electricity to industrial enterprises, including the Kyuchus, Deputatskoye, Tirekhtyakh deposits.

The RITM-400 is a water-cooled nuclear reactor with a planned power of 80-90 MWe, developed by OKBM Afrikantov. The project is an evolutionary development of the RITM-200 reactor, which has been in operation for several years on the latest nuclear icebreakers of Project 22220 – Arktika, Siberia and Ural and have proven their efficiency and absolute safety.

Image: Visualisation of the RITM-based small reactor installation planned for Yakutia (courtesy of Rosatom)