1 Oct (NucNet): Russia has completed a key stage of construction of the world’s first floating nuclear power plant by loading the first of two nuclear steam generating units onto the marine vessel that will hold the reactors.
The 220-tonne nuclear steam-generating unit was built by engineering company OKBM Afrikantov for Rosenergoatom, the nuclear power station operations subsidiary of state nuclear holding company Atomenergoprom.
Rosenergoatom said that on 27 September 2013 the nuclear unit was successfully placed in the reactor compartment of the vessel.
The ‘Akademik Lomonosov’ floating nuclear plant will be the first vessel belonging to a proposed line of floating nuclear power plants that can provide energy, heat and water to remote and arid areas of the country.
The plant is being built on a purpose-built barge at Baltiysky Zavod JSC (Baltic Shipyard) in St Petersburg. It is scheduled to be completed in September 2016.
According to state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, the ‘Akademik Lomonosov’ will be sent to Vilyuchinsk in Russia’s far-east Kamchatka region for operational testing. Rosatom then aims to construct seven more floating nuclear plants, with four of them likely to be located on the northern coast of Siberia’s Yakutia.
Rosatom said the floating plant – which is not self-propelled and must be towed to a semi-permanent pier site – can offer electric power and heat supply, simultaneously offering a desalination plant run by the reactor’s excess heat, producing both electric power and high-quality fresh water.
The 21,000-tonne vessel will have two Russian-designed KLT-40S reactor units with an electrical power generating capacity of 35 megawatts each, sufficient for a city with a population of 200,000 people.
The KLT-40S is a modular pressurised water reactor that works as a steam generating station with a thermal power capacity of 125 megawatts. The unit is comprised of the reactor pressure vessel, steam generators, reactor coolant pumps, heat exchangers, a pressuriser, valves and pipes.
Construction of the ‘Akademik Lomonosov’ began in 2007 at the Sevmash Submarine-Building Plant in Severodvinsk. A year later, work was transferred to Baltiysky Zavod JSC, but was stalled in mid-2011 because of a lack of financing.
Construction was resumed in December 2012, when, after lengthy negotiations, a contract was signed between Baltiysky Zavod JSC and Rosenergoatom.
The Nuclear Society of Russia has said that a number of other countries have expressed an interest in floating plants, including China, Malaysia and Indonesia.