New reactor in country’s Far East scheduled to be operational in 2028

Rosatom said pre-construction work had already begun near the village of Ust-Kuyga.

Russia’s state nuclear operator Rosenergoatom has received a licence from regulator Rostekhnadzor for construction of the country’s first land-based small modular reactor in Sakha, an autonomous Russian republic also known as Yakutia.

State nuclear corporation Rosatom said the plant, 4,000 km to the east of Moscow in the country’s Far East, is scheduled to be in operation in 2028.

Rosatom said pre-construction work had already begun near the village of Ust-Kuyga. More than 2,000 tonnes of cargo have been delivered to the site and there are about 80 workers there.

The SMR will be a water-cooled RITM-200N plant adapted from the RITM-200 series used to power the country’s latest fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers.

Rosatom said the reactor technology had already been proven in Arctic conditions on the icebreakers and meets “all post-Fukushima safety standards”.

Last week, Rosatom and the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic signed a cooperation agreement relating to the construction of the plant, saying “the project will provide a clean, cost-effective and stable source of energy to the remote Arctic territories of Yakutia with a decentralised energy supply”.

The plan said the aim is to use a “significant part” of the planned output to develop Kyuchus, one of world’s largest gold ore deposits, the Deputatskoye and Tirekhtyakh tin deposits, and municipalities in Yakutia. “This will create a powerful industrial cluster in the region with new jobs and professions”, the plan said.

Construction of the SMR will help Russia overcome what Rosatom called “infrastructural barriers” to the development of commercial projects in the North Yakutsk Arctic zone by ensuring a reliable power supply with stable electricity prices.

The plant’s installed electrical capacity will amount to at least 55 MW with a service life of irreplaceable equipment of about 60 years.

Rosatom’s director-general Alexey Likhachev said in 2021 that the eventual deployment of RITM-200M plants in Russia’s Arctic regions would serve as a test for the technology, which could be used domestically and offered to foreign partners.

Date: Wednesday, 26 April 2023
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