Floating Nuclear Plant Leaves Home Port

The Russian-built floating nuclear power plant called the Academik Lomonosov has left its home port in the territory of Baltiyskiy Zavod in St. Petersburg on its way to the northern base in Chulkotka, where it will resume its commercial operations.

floating NPPConstruction on the so-called floating-power unit (FPU), began in 2009. Its voyage to its permanent home, Pevek, began on April 28, 2018.

The towing is to be accomplished in two stages in two different years. The first leg of the journey involving the run from St. Petersburg to Murmansk. The second leg of the journey is from Murmansk to Pevek, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.

For the first leg of the journey, there will be no nuclear fuel on board the barge towing the FPU. “Then, at the second stage, roughly in the summer of 2019, it will be sent from Murmansk to the seaport of Pevek, loaded with nuclear fuel and with the crew on board,” said Dmitriy Alekseenko, Deputy Head of the Directorate for the Floating NPP Construction and Operation.

Not all of the logistics have been worked out for the second stage of the trip. “At the next stage … we have to solve the following important task – to prepare the facility for taking nuclear fuel on board,” said Vitaliy Trutnev, Head of the Directorate for the Floating Nuclear Power Plant Construction and Operation.

The entire “towing and shunting services,” required will be provided by the Marine Rescue Service of Rosmorrechflot, the Federal Agency for Marine and River Transportation of Russia. Under favorable conditions, the tow is expected to run at a speed between 3.5 and 4.5 knots.

Start up for the reactors on board (there are two) will begin this autumn in Murmansk. “And at the same time the ready-for-operation FPU will be delivered along the Northern Sea Route to the work site, unloaded at the mooring berth, and connected to the coastal infrastructure in Pevek,” where it will be the world's most norther nuclear power plant. The project is meant to replace two power units in the region, the Bilibino nuclear power plant and the Chaunskaya thermal power plant, both of which are deemed to be outdated.

The FPU plant has two KLT-40S reactor units that can generate up to 70 MW of electricity and 50 G/cal/hr of heat energy during normal operations.

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