Russian floating plant cargo arrives at Pevek
Ships carrying cargo to support the world's first floating nuclear power plant have arrived at the port of Pevek, in the Chukotka district of Russia, Rosenergoatom announced today. Rosenergoatom, the nuclear power plant operator subsidiary of Rosatom, also said the floating plant Akademik Lomonosov will be towed to Murmansk in May, be loaded with fuel in October and commissioned in November next year.
Currently moored at the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in Saint Petersburg, Akademik Lomonosov houses two 35 MW KLT-40S nuclear reactors, similar to those used in Russia's nuclear-powered ice breakers.
By the end of this week, almost 10,000 tonnes of building materials, including sand, gravel and cement, will have arrived at Pevek from Arkhangelsk on the steam ships Kuznetsov and Sabetta. They are also carrying metal structures to support the construction of hydraulic systems and coastal infrastructure. Once the cargo has been unloaded, the materials will enable the schedule for Akademik Lomonosov to be met and provide a reserve for the entire inter-navigational period until 2018, Rosenergoatom said. A third vessel, the motor ship Mahmastal, was due to leave the port of Arkhangelsk for Pevek today with an additional batch of building materials.
The washing of the reactor circuit was completed at Akademik Lomonosov at the beginning of this month, which Rosenergoatom described as the final procedure that completes the assembly of the reactor and its subsystems. Testing of its systems and equipment according to its design parameters will continue until the end of this year, it added.
"The Akademik Lomonosov floating thermal nuclear power plant project is based on proven nuclear icebreaker technologies and is designed with a large safety margin, which makes nuclear reactors invulnerable to tsunamis and other natural disasters," the company said. "In addition, the nuclear processes on the ships meet all the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency and pose no threat to the environment," it added.
The plant is intended to replace the outgoing capacity of the Bilibino nuclear power plant in the Chukotka district. The first Bilibino unit is scheduled to be shut down in 2019 and the whole plant will be shut down in 2021.
Rosenergoatom also said that the floating nuclear power plant project received unanimous public support during discussions on the application for an operating licence held on 24 October.