Russia builds floating nuclear power plant

Russia builds floating nuclear power plant
Mon Jul 8, 2013 16:37:59

Russia is going to build world’s first floating nuclear power plant which can provide energy and heat to hard-to-get areas as well as drinking water to arid regions.

Speaking to reporters at the 6th Internatinal Naval Show in St. Petersburg, Aleksandr Voznesensky, general director of Russia’s biggest shipbuilders, the Baltic Plant, is cited as saying that “the unique vessel should be operational by 2016,” RT reported Sunday.

Named Akademik Lomonosov, after Russian academician Mikhail Lomonosov, the ship is to become the first in a series of floating nuclear power plants, which Moscow plans to mass-produce.

The floating power-generating unit, according to the report, is intended to provide energy to large industrial projects, port cities and offshore gas and oil-extracting platforms and was designed based on nuclear reactors that are equipped on the icebreakers ships.

“The technology has proved itself for over 50 years of successful operation in extreme Arctic conditions,” the report adds.
The floating power plant is a large ship with a displacement of 21,500 tons and a crew of 69 people. It is reportedly non-self-propelled and thus has to be towed to the desired destination.

Each vessel will have two “modified KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors” that will provide up to 70 MW of electricity or 300 MW of heat, which is sufficient for a city with a population of 200,000 people.

The floating nuclear power plants are expected to be used in remote regions of Russia’s high north and Far East, which currently see economic growth suffering from a lack of energy.

For export purposes, the floating power plant can also be modified as a desalination plant able to produce 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day.

According to the report, 15 countries, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Algeria, Namibia, Cape Verde and Argentina, have already expressed interest in acquiring such power stations.

The builder of the ship reportedly emphasizes that the process of fuel enrichment on the vessels complies with the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) dealing with nonproliferation of nuclear arms.

The floating power plant, the report adds, is designed with a safety margin, exceeding any possible threats, “which makes the reactors invulnerable to tsunami waves or crashes with other ships or on-land structures.”

The construction of the maiden floating nuclear power station began in 2007 at the Sevmash Submarine-Building Plant in Severodvinsk.



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