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Addressing the recent International Forum Atomexpo 2024 in Sochi, southern Russia, Rosatom’s Deputy General Director for Engineering & Industrial Solutions, Andrei Nikipelov, noted the growing global interest in nuclear energy and in particular to low power NPPs (ASMM - Atomnoi Stantsii Maloi Moshnosti). Noting that there were more than 70 different ASMM projects worldwide, he said those in Russia and China were the furthest advanced in terms of implementation.

Andrei Nikipelov stressed the advantages of floating NPP units (PEB - Plavuchikh EnergoBlokov) for the northern and southern seas using new RITM reactors. He drew attention to the build-own-operate (BOO) business whereby Rosatom will build and operate the PEB, selling electricity to the client. He added that Rosatom had more than 70 years of experience in transport reactor technology and was already operating the world's first PEB, the Akademik Lomonosov, which is supplying heat and power to the Arctic town of Pevek in Chukotka.

Akademik Lomonosov has two KLT-40S reactor units, providing electric and thermal energy with a capacity of 70 MW and 50 Gcal/h, respectively, supported by coastal infrastructure. The plant will become a reliable source of power and heat for the entire region. Pavel Ipatov, Deputy General Director and Director for Special Projects and Initiatives at nuclear utility Rosenergoatom said positive changes to that the region are already evident following commissioning of the plant in 2020.

On the sidelines of Atomexpo 2024 Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division Atomenergomash and TSS Group signed an agreement establishing a joint venture (JV) for the construction and operation of an energy fleet based on PEBs for foreign markets. The JV plans the construction and operation of a series of PEBs with the new RITM-200M reactor plants. Shares in the JV will be distributed on a parity basis. The project involves the launch of a series of PEBs with RITM-200M reactor plants with a capacity of at least 100 MW and a service life of 60 years for the subsequent sale of electricity to consumers in Russia and abroad.

“Today, the product line includes floating power units capable of working in harsh Arctic conditions and countries with a warm climate,” said Atomenergomash Deputy Director Vladimir Aptekarev. “We offer foreign partners modern and referenced low-carbon solutions for energy supply with the highest projected electricity tariff among energy sources of similar power.”

Board Chairman of TSS Group Sergey Velichko said: “Floating power units are an effective solution to the problems of current and future energy shortages in regions with rapidly developing economies. Today we see a high demand for a stable and green energy source in almost all countries in Africa and the Middle East. I am sure that the investment potential of the floating NPP industry will increase significantly in the coming years due to the introduction of advanced nuclear technologies to energy supply growing global needs. We believe that the largest sovereign funds will be serious drivers of investment in this technology, and the PEB market will grow rapidly.”

In 2023 Rosatom and TSS Group signed a framework agreement laying out the basic conditions for establishing an energy fleet for foreign markets PEBs with RITM-200M reactors. Atomenergomash was appointed integrator in the new business area “Energoflot” for the construction of floating power units and sales of the electricity they generate both in Russia and abroad. The holding enterprises are directly involved in the manufacture of the RITM-200 reactor plants, which constitute the basis of the PEB.

Also on the sidelines of Atomexpo, Atomenergomash the government of Russia’s far east Primorsky Krai will signed an agreement on a project to use PEBs off the coast of the region. A feasibility study will determine the optimal location and the financial, economic and technical parameters of the project. Cooperation involves the creation of joint working groups, the exchange of information, consultations and working meetings.

“At the first stage, we see the need for four floating power units to eliminate energy shortages in the south of Primorye,” said the Minister of Energy & Gas Supply of Primorsky Krai, Andrei Leontyev. “In addition to small nuclear units, we also see the need for a NPP with two 600 MWe units in the medium term for the development of our region.”

In Yakutia, a project is also underway to build the world's first low-power ground-based NPP using a RITM-200N reactor. Construction of the ASMM in Yakutia will ensure energy independence and socio-economic development of the region. The facility will serve one of the largest mining centres in Russia and in the future will provide electricity to industrial enterprises, including the Kuchus, MP, and Tirekhtyam fields. The commissioning of the station is scheduled for 2028.

The pilot station will include one power unit with the RITM-200N reactor unit - an evolution of the RITM-200 ship reactor used in nuclear icebreakers adapted for ground deployment. The thermal power of RITM-200N is 190 MWt and the electric power 55 MWe. The installation has an operating life of 60 years and will be refuelled every 5-6 years. Components for the first plant are already being manufactured in St Petersburg.

Image courtesy of Rosatom

Date: Wednesday, 03 April 2024
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