Akademik Lomonosov, the first-ever, and only this far of the world floating nuclear power unit or FPU has taken its first voyage on April 28, 2018. It started from Baltiyskiy Zavod in St. Petersburg (where its build was carried out since 2009) to its base in Chukotka.
The towing was planned in two stages, as Dimitriy Alekseenko (Deputy Head of the Directorate for the Floating NPP Construction and Operation) says. In his words, “At the first stage, the FPU with no nuclear fuel on board will be towed from the territory of Baltiyskiy Zavod to the landing of Atomflot FSUE in Murmansk. 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.”
The recent month saw work at the facility intensively increasing for assurance that the floating nuclear power unit FPU is ready in time. Marine Rescue Service of Rosmorrechflot (the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport of Russia) will provide the entire range of towing and shunting services for the FPU. it will be provided as the unit is on the St. Petersburg-Murmansk-Pevek route.
Specialists have calculated that the average speed in the route under favorable conditions and in absence of any delay will be about 3.5-4.5 knotts. Required construction works for on-shore infrastructure are ongoing at Pevek presently. It includes the pier, hydraulic engineering structures and several other buildings for FPU mooring and an FNPP (Floating Nuclear Thermal Power Plant) operation.
The FPU of project 20870 is the chief project of the “series of mobile transportable power units of low power.” Designed to work as a part of FNPP, it belongs to a new class of power sources, based on Russian technologies of nuclear shipbuilding. Upon the FPU reaching Murmansk, a solemn ceremony will be held in presence of media and public.
The coming Autumn will have the nuclear fuel loaded into the reactor of the FPU for it to physically activate. It will be delivered to the Northern Sea Route, to the work site. After the FNPP starts operating in 2019, Akademik Lomonosov will be the ‘most northerly nuclear power plant’ of the world, while replacing the technologically outdated Bilibino nuclear power plant and Chaunskaya TPP.
Operating in the Extreme North and Far East of Russia, the FPU will primarily provide electric energy to remote industrial plants, offshore gas and oil platforms, and port cities. It is said to be designed to withstand severe natural disasters like tsunami and more.
The two KLT-40SS reactor units of the plant can generate up to 70 MW of electric energy and 50 Gcal per hour of heat energy when operated normally. This is considered enough to empower a town populated with 100,000 people. The FPU has nuclear processes that are certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency for not being a threat to the environment.