Dock trials of floating nuclear power plant to start this summer

Nuclear reactors were installed on "Akademik Lomonosov" in October 2013.

Dock trials of Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant will start this summer. The plant will replace old power plants in Chukotka, where the government is planning a 5 billion rubles investment in onshore infrastructure.


Construction of Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant “Akademik Lomonosov” is going according to schedule, and the vessel will be ready for dock trials in July-August, RIA Novosti reports, citing the Baltic Shipyard’s press service.

As earlier reported, the power plant, which is under construction in Saint Petersburg, will be ready for operation by October 2016.

The floating power station will be used to power port cities, industrial infrastructure, and oil and gas drilling rigs and refineries. The non-self-propelled vessel will have a length of 144 meters and will be operated by a crew of 69 people. Its two reactors will be able to produce up to 70 megawatts of electricity. The draught is less than six meters, making it possible to move the barge into quite shallow waters and rivers. The reactors are supposed to have a lifespan of 40 years.

Will replace two older power plants
Akademik Lomonosov” will be placed in Chukotka, where it will ensure power to local settlements and companies as two existing power plants in the region – the 40 years old Bilibino nuclear power plant and the 70 years old Chaunskaya thermal electric power station – are being phased out by 2019, according to RIA Novosti.

The Russian Government plans to allocate 5 billion rubles (€80.26 million) for construction of the required infrastructure for the floating power plant in Chukotka. The total costs of the new nuclear power plant will be 37.3 million rubles (€598.6 million).

International interest
Other countries are starting to show interest in the Russian technology of floating nuclear power stations, suggesting it can meet growing energy needs in the Arctic. The company Dunedin Energy Systems has proposed the idea of using small floating nuclear stations to power mining sites and towns in the Canadian north, and China is interested in not only using such stations to power its industrial centers, but also in participating in the construction, according to RIA Novosti.

Construction of “Akademik Lomonosov” started in 2007 at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. In August 2008 construction works were transferred to the Baltic shipyard in Saint Petersburg, allegedly because of the many orders for military vessels Sevmash had.

Watch video from the construction of “Akademik Lomonosov” on Rossiya24 (in Russian)

Environmental groups are concerned that floating stations will be more vulnerable to accidents and terrorism than land-based stations.