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Work starts on on-shore infrastructure for Russian floating plant
2016-10-8

A ceremony was held on 4 October in Pevek, Russia, to mark the start of construction of the coastal infrastructure for the first-of-a-kind floating nuclear power plant. The floating power and heat plant is set to be commissioned there in 2019.

The coastal infrastructure for the floating plant takes shape (Image: Rosenergoatom)

The event in Pevek in the Chukotka Autonomous Region - the northern most city of Russia - was attended by, among others, the regional governor Roman Kopin; Rosenergoatom deputy CEO and director of special projects and initiatives Pavel Ipatov; and head of the floating nuclear power plant construction administration Sergey Zavyalov.

During the ceremony, the first sheet pile driving into the foundation of the on-shore infrastructure was carried out. A memorial plaque and a time capsule were then installed to mark the start of construction of the infrastructure.

Kopin noted the floating plant addresses two major issues for Pevek and the region as a whole. "The first one is that it substituted the Bilibino NPP because Bilibino and Pevek operate within a single power centre, so the timeline for the Bilibino NPP's first power block shutdown in 2019 will be synchronized with the floating plant's launch," he said.

"The second issue to be addressed is supplying enough power for the major mining companies located in western Chukotka in the Chaun-Bilibino power centre. This is a huge mining and metal cluster that also includes gold mining companies and projects related to the Baimsk ore zone development."

"It does not mean that the floating plant will fully cover the power needs of those companies," Kopin added. "However, it will be operational and will give development incentives to the industry at the first stage, when it is supposed to substitute the withdrawn power plant and to supply power for new demand."

Zavyalov said, "We expect that the works on elaborating the technical conditions for the floating plant's power delivery we carry out jointly with the Department of Energy, Chukotenergo, and RAO EES Vostok will be completed by October-November 2016." He added, "In December, we plan to be ready to submit operational documents and to order the electric technical equipment to be installed on our site."

The keel of Academician Lomonosov was laid in April 2007 at Sevmash in Severodvinsk, but in August 2008 Rosatom cancelled the contract - apparently due to the military workload at Sevmash - and transferred it to the Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg, which has experience in building nuclear icebreakers. New keel-laying took place in May 2009 and the 21,500 tonne hull - 144 metres long, 30 m wide - was launched at the end of June 2010. The two 35 MWe KLT-40S reactors were installed in October 2013.

The Akademik Lomonosov is undergoing trials at the Baltic Shipyard. These trials are expected to be completed by late October 2017 and it should be ready to be transported to Pevek later that year. Rosenergoatom plans to start installation of the plant in September 2019, followed by trials and operational launch.

  
 
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