“The groundbreaking example of the Akademik Lomonosov, which is now powering a city in northeast Russia, portends a new era in energy that can have a profound impact on global poverty,” he said.
The capacity of the Rosatom’s floating nuclear power plant is small – only 70 mW. However, this capacity will be enough to supply cities with electricity. This is why poor countries have the opportunity to purchase such plants. “Nearly half the population of the world—over three billion people—use less energy per day than an average American refrigerator. This is a situation that cries out for social justice on a global scale. Yet building large power plants is a very capital-intensive endeavor, and many governments are simply too impoverished to both build such facilities and invest in the necessary infrastructure to distribute the electricity to the majority of their citizens,” the expert said.
Several companies are currently developing floating NPP projects. “Just last week a Danish company, Seaborg, announced that it’s working on designing floating power plants that would use molten salt reactor technology, with 200 to 600 megawatts per ship depending on how many reactor modules are installed. Thorcon International is another company that has taken this approach and is probably the furthest along in its development. The Rosatom plans announced recently indicate that the company’s plans for the ships similar to the Lomonosov will continue to deploy light-water reactor technology,” Blees said. “The many profound advantages of such floating nuclear power plants are so compelling that it’s easy to envision this approach dominating energy production in the coming decades as humanity tries to both power developing nations and solving the climate change problem,” he added.
Earlier Rosatom announced that it had planned to create a tropical version of a floating nuclear power plant project. According to the corporation’s calculations, the demand for such power plants is significant, including countries with hot climatic conditions, as they can not only generate electricity, but also desalinate sea water. The floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov is currently operating in Chukotka region in Russia. Its capacity is 70 MW. It is equipped with two KLT-40S reactor units, which are capable of generating up to 70 MW of electricity and 50 Gcal/h of thermal energy in nominal operating mode. The floating nuclear power plant was launched in the summer of 2020.