Nuclear power station barge
The 70MW Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear co-generation plant will be stationed in the town of Vilyuchinsk of the Kamchatka region in Far East Russia. The barge was named after a famous academician, Mikhail Lomonosov.
ROSATOM, the state-owned atomic energy corporation, is the owner of the nuclear power plant.
The foundations for the project were laid on 15 April 2007. Construction of the barge was initially carried out at the Sevmash submarine-building plant in Severodvinsk. In August 2008 the construction site was shifted from Sevmash to the Baltic shipyard in Saint Petersburg.
Akademik Lomonosov was launched on 30 June 2010. It will be the first floating nuclear power plant of Russia. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. It will generate enough power to serve about 200,000 people. It will have a lifespan of 40 years.
Akademik Lomonosov is an autonomous power facility, manufactured as non-self-propelled vessel. It is 140m long, 30m wide and 10m high. It has a draught of 5.56m. Its displacement is 21,500t with a crew of 70 people.
The floating vessel will be equipped with a power unit with two 35MW KLT-40C nuclear reactors, or 300MW of heat and two steam-driven turbine units. It can also be converted into a desalination plant with a capacity to produce 240,000 cubic metres of fresh water each day.
The project will have offshore and onshore facilities to transfer the energy and power generated from the plant.
The energy and heat generated by the offshore units will be transmitted onshore. The onshore facilities will further transfer the heat and power to the grid. The project will save 200,000t of coal and 100,000t of fuel oil each year.
The offshore vessel will accommodate the reactors, steam turbine plants and storage facilities that house fresh and nuclear fuel assemblies, as well as solid and liquid radioactive waste.
The plant will undergo servicing and maintenance at the Baltic shipyard once every 12 years. It will be refuelled every three years.
The KLT-40C is a modular water reactor that works as a steam generating station. The reactor is comprised of reactor proper, steam generators, reactor coolant pumps, heat exchangers, pressurisers, valves and pipelines used for various purposes.
The first reactor was delivered in May 2009 and the second in August 2009. Each reactor is enclosed in a steel hermetic containment vessel to withstand the pressure.
The nuclear waste will be discarded carefully to avoid radiations during the production and generation of energy.
OKBM Afrikantov, a power equipment company, is responsible for the design of the reactors, manufacture and supply of the pumps, fuel handling equipment and auxiliary equipment. Nizhniy Novgorod Research and Development Institute assembled the reactors in the power plant.
The reactor vessels were supplied by Izhorskiye Zavody, a Russian machine building company.
Kaluga Turbine Works have supplied the turbo-generators for the plant. TVEL, a nuclear fuel fabricator company, will supply the nuclear fuel for the plant.
Altogether 136 companies are involved as main and subcontractors during the engineering and production stage of the plant.
Deployment of the barge has raised many questions about the environmental risks involved. The main concern is that the vessel may produce large amounts of radioactive steam that can have adverse effects on the nearby population centre.
Seismic activities frequently occur in the Kamchatka region, where Akademik Lomonsov is deployed. An earthquake-triggered tsunami can destroy an onshore floating nuclear power plant and cause the release of radioactive material and fuel from nuclear waste.
According to environmental groups, the floating nuclear power plants are more exposed to accidents as compared to onshore power stations and also pose a threat to marine habitats.
Russia, on the other hand, has 50 years of experience in safeguarding nuclear powered icebreakers, which are specifically built for the Arctic oceans.
The Surgutskaya GRES-2 combined-cycle gas-fired power station is located in the Russian city of Surgut.
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