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The atom will be allowed to sail

Chukotka economy in anticipation of a floating nuclear power unit

The world's first nuclear floating power unit (AEB), Academician Lomonosov, will be tested in Murmansk by the end of this year, in order to be sent to Chukotka next. Designed to replace the outgoing capacity of Bilibino NPP, it should also contribute to the emergence of new industries in the region.

The atom will be allowed to sail
In May, the floating power unit was towed from the Baltic plant in St. Petersburg to the Atomflot site in Murmansk. After filling it with nuclear fuel, PEB is waiting for a set of mooring tests. In case of their success in 2019, "Academician Lomonosov" will travel across the Arctic Ocean to a permanent parking place - in the Chukchi port of Pevek. Now, in the northernmost port of Russia, a coastal infrastructure is being created for the operation of the floating nuclear thermal power plant (FNPP), including hydraulic structures and a site where energy delivery to the shore will take place.

The project "20870" (two steam-generating units with KLT-40S reactors, power of 35 MW of electric power and 50 Gcal / h of thermal energy) will be replaced in Chukotka by technologically obsolete energy facilities, primarily Bilibino NPP. The launch of its first power unit (four in total) took place in January 1974, for 44 the station produced almost 10,2 billion kWh of electricity. To date, the NPP at 80% provides the activity of the isolated Chaun-Bilibino power system. "Bilibino NPP in its time gave a powerful impetus to the development of the gold mining industry. Now, in addition to industrial consumers, it provides the nearby city and other settlements of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, and supplies part of the electricity to the neighboring region - the northern regions of Yakutia, "says Chukotka Governor Roman Kopin.

Meanwhile, starting from next year, a phased stop of the nuclear power plant is planned. A stable source of electricity in this regard is intended to become a floating nuclear thermal power plant in Pevek. The leadership of Chukotka hopes that it will not only cover the existing needs of the region, but will also contribute to the emergence of new industries. In particular, with the development of the Baim ore zone, where a polymetallic cluster will appear, for which it is planned to organize the second in Chukotka area of ​​advanced development. Three anchor projects are planned within the framework of the Taim "Baimskaya" (to develop the gold-copper deposit Peschanka, gold-silver Kekura and Maple) with the volume of private investments of about 340 billion rubles. According to preliminary estimates, in the first ten years the cluster will ensure the growth of the gross regional product more than 3,6 times.

Since the reserves of the ore zone are located on undeveloped territories, it is planned to create new communications, including the construction of the high voltage power transmission line Bilibino-Kekura-Peschanka-Omsukchan. "This is the largest interregional project, the so-called energy bridge Chukotka-Magadan, already implemented by the district government with the participation of investors and with the support of the federal center. It is one of the priority energy facilities of the entire Chaun-Bilibinskaya zone, which unites the power systems of the Magadan Region and the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. The creation of the energy bridge will increase the security and economic efficiency of the Chaun-Bilibin power system as a whole, "comments Elena Kompaniets, First Deputy Head of the Department of Finance, Economics and Property Relations of the Chukotka Autonomous Area.

PEB "Akademik Lomonosov" - the main project of a series of mobile transportable low-power units, offered for operation in the Far North and Far East. "Chukotka is a special case, but there are many regions like us. Our example shows that there are not many alternatives to such solutions. Taking into account the interest in the Arctic, there are very good prospects for the isolated energy systems (EastRussia) are good, "Roman Kopin said.

PEB can provide energy not only to port cities and remote industrial enterprises, but also gas and oil platforms located on the high seas. "Academician Lomonosov" is the first reference sample of mobile medium-power nuclear power sources, the demand for which we forecast in the coming years as very high. A great interest in such competence is demonstrated by all the island states, where it is impossible to create a powerful transmission infrastructure for certain reasons, "the Rosatom management emphasizes.

At present, the state corporation is working on the second generation of floating NPPs - an optimized floating power unit that will be smaller than its predecessor. It is supposed to be equipped with two reactors of the RITM-200M type with the capacity of 50 MW each.

Against floating nuclear power plants is a number of environmental organizations. The Greens believe that such facilities are particularly vulnerable to terrorism and the elements, including in the extreme conditions of the Arctic. "In addition, it is necessary to take into account the risks associated with the fact that the floating nuclear power plant will be a repository for spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste," says Violetta Ryabko, the head of the press service of Greenpeace in Russia.

In turn, the department of information and public relations of JSC "Concern Rosenergoatom" reported that the PES was created on the basis of the serial power plant of nuclear icebreakers, tested during their long operation in the Arctic. At the same time, the floating station is designed with a large margin of safety, which makes nuclear reactors invulnerable to tsunamis and other natural disasters.

In addition, at present atomic energy is moving towards the so-called closure of the nuclear fuel cycle. "This is the way that not only Russia, but also a huge number of other countries, conducts scientific research in the field of how to make radioactive waste less radioactive, how to learn to split minor actinides, shortening the period of their decay, making it safer for the environment "- said first deputy director general - director of the block for development and international business of Rosatom Kirill Komarov.

According to him, Russia has advanced the most along this path. "The most important for us is the development of fourth generation reactors, fast reactors (fast neutron reactors, EastRussia), which will ensure the closure of the nuclear fuel cycle and in fact will allow the spent nuclear fuel to be used as a source of raw materials to be put into reactors and again to receive energy. And this process can be endlessly cyclical, "- concluded Kirill Komarov.
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