atw 2018-09v3

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atw Vol. 63 (2018) | Issue 8/9 ı August/September

Akademik Lomonosov:

Preparations for Premiere in Full Swing

Roman Martinek

At the end of July, the loading of the floating power unit Akademik Lomonosov with nuclear fuel started in Murmansk.

This is one of the key stages of the project, which as of today has no analogues in the world. In 2019, the power unit will

begin to supply local population and industrial facilities in North-Eastern Siberia with heat and electricity. The project

is expected to open up opportunities for the mass production of floating nuclear power plants – a number of countries

have already voiced their interest.

On July 25, the Russian city of Murmansk, the largest

non-freezing seaport in the world and the largest city

above the Arctic Circle, saw the start of the loading of

­nuclear fuel into the reactors of the world’s only floating

nuclear power unit (FPU) Akademik Lomonosov. The

project, named after the outstanding Russian scientist and

laid down back in 2006, is the first in a series of mobile

transportable small-capacity power units. It is designed to

operate as part of a floating nuclear thermal power plant

(FNPP) and represents a new class of energy sources based

on Russian technologies of nuclear shipbuilding.

The Akademik Lomonosov is intended for the regions in

the High North and the Far East. Its main goal is to provide

energy to remote industrial facilities, port cities, as well as

gas and oil platforms located on the high seas. The permanent

mooring site of the floating NPP will be the Siberian

city of Pevek on the Chukchi Peninsula in the northeastern

extremity of Eurasia. The new plant will replace there two

technologically obsolete generation facilities: Bilibino NPP

and Chaunskaya CHPP. After being brought into operation,

the Akademik Lomonosov will become the northernmost

nuclear power plant in the world.

In the spring of this year, the floating power unit was

towed from the territory of the Baltic Shipyard, where its

construction was carried out from 2009, to the base of

Atomflot in Murmansk. During its transportation, the ship

144 meters long and 30 meters wide travelled the 4,000 km

route through the waters of four seas – the Baltic Sea, the

North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea –

around the Scandinavian Peninsula and along the coasts

of Estonia, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. On May 19,

the Akademik Lomonosov was successfully moored in

Murmansk, where it was presented to the public in a

ceremonial atmosphere.

Vitaliy Trutnev, Head of Rosenergoatom’s Directorate for

the Construction and Operation of FNPPs, commented on

the current status of the project development: “Here in

Murmansk, we finalize the remaining technological

operations. Specialists have begun to implement one of the

most important tasks – the stage-by-stage loading of

nuclear fuel into the reactor plants. The next key stages

that are planned to be implemented before the end of

this year will be the physical launch of the reactors and the

beginning of complex mooring tests – after obtaining the

appropriate Rostekhnadzor permits (Federal Service for

Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision –

author's note).

The FNPP project is based on the technology of

small modular reactors (SMRs) – this category, according

to IAEA classification, typically includes reactors with

electrical power up to 300 MW. A characteristic feature

of the majority of such designs is the integrated layout

of the reactor plant, in which the active zone, the steam

generator, the pressure compensator and a number of

other types of equipment are assembled in a single unit – a

factory-finished monoblock delivered ready-made to the

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ENERGY POLICY, ECONOMY AND LAW

Energy Policy, Economy and Law

Akademik Lomonosov: Preparations for Premiere in Full Swing ı Roman Martinek

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