Floating nuclear power plant plan for Russia's Far Eastern coast

27 March 2024

Rosatom and the government of Primorsky Krai have signed an agreement for a feasibility study and location options for floating nuclear power units off its coast.

(Image: Rosatom)

The agreement was signed at the Atomexpo 2024 event in Sochi and aims to produce reliable and carbon-free electricity generation facilities in the region, which borders China and North Korea and is about 250 miles across the sea from Japan.

Rosatom said the agreement will also include the financial, economic, legal and technical aspects of a prospective project, as well as how it would be organised. The Far Eastern region of Russia is estimated by the country's Unified Energy System operator to need at least 1.35 GW of power by 2029-2030.

Andrei LeontyevMinister of Energy and Gas Supply of the Primorsky Territory, said: "Initially, we see the need for four floating power units to eliminate the energy shortage in the south ... in addition to small-scale nuclear energy, we also consider it necessary to create a nuclear power plant with two 600 MW units in the medium term for the development of our region."

Rosatom Deputy Director General for Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Solutions, Andrey Nikipelov, said: "Small-scale nuclear power is a modern green way of stable energy supply with energy costs projected for decades ... floating power units with their mobility and scalability are a doubly flexible solution not only to cover the current needs of a region with actively developing industry and infrastructure, but also new opportunities that will further expand the economic potential of the region and provide better living conditions for people."

Rosatom has developed floating nuclear power plants based on the RITM-200 reactor which has been used on its new fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers and construction has begun for units to supply the Baimsky Mining and Processing Plant, with "dozens of countries and regions" said to be showing an interest. It says, for example, that there is a need for up to 15 floating nuclear power units for Russia's Arctic zone.

Russia already has one floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, which is stationed at Pevek where it supplies heat and power to the town. This is based on two KLT-40S reactors generating 35 MWe each, which are similar to those used in a previous generation of nuclear-powered icebreakers.

Export push

Also at the Atomexpo forum, Rosatom signed an agreement with Russia's TSS Group on terms for the formation of a joint venture for the construction and operation of floating nuclear power units for foreign markets.

The floating power plants will use RITM-200 reactors and have a capacity of 100 MW and a service life of at least 60 years.

Sergei Velichko, Chairman of TSS Group, said: "Floating power units are an effective solution to the problems of current and future energy shortages in regions with rapidly developing economies ... we see high demand for a stable and green source of energy in almost all countries in Africa and the Middle East ... we believe that the largest sovereign funds will be serious drivers of investment in this technology."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News