"Rosatom is ready to share [floating NPP – FNPP] technology with friendly nations that will help in the development and growth of remote areas and cut down dependability on carbon fuel," said Cherniy Viktor – acting Chief engineer, Floating Nuclear Power Plant (JSC REA).

He said that nuclear waste is safely disposed of as per norms. It is designed for countries that lack the energy grid infrastructure to develop utility-scale renewable energy projects, many of which go on to use gas, diesel, and coal plants instead. The major priority of the environmental policy of the FNPP is to ensure environmental safety and to reduce the environmental impact in the region, he added.

Indias ANI news agency visited the Arctic town of Pevek where Russia’s FNPP Akademik Lomonosovis based, supplying heat and power to the region including remote industrial enterprises, ports, and mining sites. “Locals say that now they get power and heat supply round the year… The town located in the Chukotka region of Russia is equipped with facilities like school, theatre, restaurant, hotel, grocery shop, port, and other facilities for locals to keep availability of supplies and keep them warm even in harsh temperatures of -24 degree Celsius,” ANI reported.

The Akademik Lomonosov FNPP, developed and constructed by Rosatom, was connected to the grid in December 2019, and at the end of May 2020 began commercial operation. The keel was laid in 2007 at Sevmash in Severodvinsk, but in August 2008 Rosatom transferred the contract to the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg, where the 21,500 tonne hull was launched at the end of June 2010. After the two reactors were installed in October 2013, Academik Lomonosov in April 2018 began its journey to Murmansk where it was loaded with fuel and took on board its crew.

In June 2019, regulator Rostekhnadzor issued a 10-year licence to Rosenergoatom to operate the Akademik Lomonosov until 2029. A dedicated system of coastal infrastructure supports the FNPP, which is equipped with two KLT-40S reactors with an electric power of 35MW each. The power capacity of the FNPP is 70MW, the heat capacity is 50 Gcal/h.

ANI noted that daily operations of FNPP save up to four rails cars of coal. “There is a system to check radiation levels. It has reduced the carbon imprint in the Arctic areas and boosted underdeveloped artic areas.” It added: “There are around 5,000 people living in Pevek who are directly or indirectly associated with the mining of gold, copper, Mercury, lithium, and other metals. It has made the lives of locals easy.”

Image: The Akedemik Lomonosov, Russia's first floating nuclear power station (courtesy of Rosatom)