New Projects, Nuclear

Fuel Loading Completed at Russian Floating Nuclear Plant

Shot of the Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear plant. Courtesy Rosatom.com

Russian specialists have completed fuel loading into the last of two reactors of the world’s only floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) in Murmansk, according to reports.

The Akademik Lomonosov is based near the site of Atomflot, another Rosatom subsidiary. Fuel loading for the portside reactor now puts the facility one step closer to physical start-up.

 “We plan to complete all final process operations at the facility before the end of this year,” Vitaly Trutney, Head of the Directorate for building and operation of the floating nuclear co-generation power plant, said in a statement. “The next key stage will be their first criticality in October–November this year after the corresponding permit is received from Rostechnadzor. Then, the integrated birth trials will follow, which are necessary before the reactor is brought to design capacity.”

In 2019, the FNPP will be towed to the seaport of the city of Pevek (Chukotka Autonomous District). At the present time, construction of coastal infrastructure, hydraulic structures and on-shore site is being carried out.

FNPP will become operational in Pevek to replace phasing out capacities of Bilibino NPP and Chaunskaya Co-Gen Plant and become the baseline power generation facility in Chukotka.

The project has been a long time coming, amidst national pride and some worldwide environmental criticism. The keel of the floating power plant was laid in 2007 and it was moved to Murmansk earlier this year.

It is named for 18th century Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov.

(Rod Walton is content manager for Power Engineering and POWER-GEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).