The world's first floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, started its more than 4,700-kilometer voyage on Friday from Russia’s northwestern port city of Murmansk to supply electricity to the northernmost port town of Pevek, on the other side of Russia's Arctic coast.
Alexey Likhachev, chief executive of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom gave the command for the tug boats to begin towing the floating plant from Murmansk, according to Rosenergoatom, the subsidiary of Rosatom.
"After commissioning, the floating plant will become the northernmost nuclear power plant not only in Russia but also in the world, taking this title from the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant [located in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug]," the company said.
After the plant is commissioned, the number of Russia’s nuclear plants will reach eleven, the statement read.
Developed by Rosatom, the floating plant will dock at the the coastal gold-mining town of Pevek with a population of around 4,000, where it will steam heat and eventually provide electricity to the coastal villages in the country's far east autonomous region of Chukotka.
The plant, named after the 18th century's Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov, will replace the outgoing capacities of the Bilibino nuclear power plant and the Chaunskaya combined heat and power plant to become the baseline power generation facility in Chukotka.
According to the company, the floating plant will spur the social and economic development of the region and will become one of the key infrastructure elements within the Northern Sea Route development program. It will also ensure year-round icebreaking assistance, which will allow for the implementation of large infrastructure projects logistically connected with the port of Pevek.
The plant, equipped with two 35-megawatt KLT-40C reactor systems similar to those used on icebreakers, is capable of generating enough electricity for around 100,000 homes.
The 144-meter length and 30-meter wide floating plant, painted in the white, blue and red of the national flag, has a pool, gym and dry bar on board.
By Firdevs Yuksel