On 19 December 2019, the Akademik Lomonosov was connected to the grid of the Chaun-Bilibin mining complex after docking at its Pevek base in September. Rosenergoatom said the plant currently provides 20% of the hub’s power needs.
A Rosenergoatom official said the Akademik Lomonosov will facilitate the growth of gold, copper and other natural resources mining in Chukotka.
The 21,000-tonne vessel has two KLT-40S reactor units with an electrical power generating capacity of 35 MW each, sufficient for a city with a population of around 200,000 people. According to Rosenergoatom, the floating facility is scheduled to begin commercial generation of electricity later this year.
In September 2019 the Akademik Lomonosov arrived at a specially constructed wharf at Pevek after an 18-day, 9,000 km journey from its original base in Murmansk, where fuel was loaded into the reactors.
Rosenergoatom said the facility will also be used to replace capacity lost when the Bilibino nuclear station is permanently shut down at the beginning of the next decade.
Bilibino – the smallest and the northernmost operating nuclear power station in the world – has three commercial EGP-6 graphite-moderated, water-cooled reactor units of 11 MW (net) each. They came online in 1975, 1976 and 1977. An identical unit, Bilibino-1, was permanently shut down in January 2019.
In June Russian nuclear regulator Rostekhnadzor issued a 10-year licence to Rosenergoatom to operate the Akademik Lomonosov until 2029.