Russia offers nuclear desalination bundle

04 March 2015

Rusatom Overseas is aiming to sell desalination facilities integrated with large capacity nuclear power plants to Russia's export markets.

Dzhomart Aliyev, head of Rusatom Overseas, announced the new offer this week saying the company estimated "a significant potential in foreign markets". His words follow the 10 February agreement between Egypt and Russia to develop the design for a combined plant offering nuclear electricity as well as production of potable water through desalination.

Egypt has been considering vendor-financed construction of two reactors at El Dabaa, which is said to be suitable for up to eight large units. Rosatom is offering two AES-2006 pressurized water reactors producing 1200 MWe each to Egypt's Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy as part of a combined power and desalination plant.

Rosatom said it focuses on salt-removal technique called multiple-effect distillation (MED), which is based on evaporation and condensation similar to everyday processes. "MED technologies require significant amount of energy, and stable operation of desalination facilities depends on security of energy supply," said Rosatom.

As a rough guide, desalination units can produce 170,000 cubic metres of potable water per day, given an input of 850 MWh per day of electricity. This would use only about 2% of the output from a 2400 MWe nuclear power plant, while some co-generation using waste heat is also envisaged for the potential plant at El Dabaa.

Two desalination units are also being considered for potential inclusion in Iran's plans to expand the Bushehr nuclear power plant with further Russian technology. And an agreement between Argentina and Russia also included desalination with nuclear power cooperation.

Rusatom Overseas described the joint power and desalination option as "a new product of the Russian nuclear industry". Aliev said, "We are paying great attention to expansion of our product range, including desalination facilities integrated with small modular reactor plants and floating nuclear power plants."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News