World’s first nuclear barge fully commissioned in Russia

The world’s first floating nuclear power plant, Akademic Lomonosov, was fully commissioned in Pevek, Chukotka region in the Russian Far East on 22 May.

Capable of generating 70 MW with its two reactors, the nuclear barge is 140m long, 30m wide and displaces 21,500 tons. The service life is 40 years.

It will eventually become the sole power source for the port town of Pevek and the sparsely populated Chukotka region when the existing Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant is shut down.

Construction began in 2007 and, in 2015, Russia’s then deputy prime minister in charge of defence industry, Dmitry Rogozin, said the floating plant would be complete in 2016. 

"Today we can consider the floating nuclear power plant construction project successfully completed," said Andrei Petrov, director of Rosenergoatom, the division of Rosatom responsible for the project. 

He added that it is Russia’s 11th nuclear power plant and the northernmost one in the world.

The final commissioning last week came after it received official approval from government agencies regulating nuclear and environmental safety, although the plant began generating power for the isolated Chukotka region in December 2019, Rosatom said.

Image: The Akademic Lomonosov is 140m long, 30m wide and displaces 21,500 tons. It is capable of generating 70 MW with its two reactors (Image courtesy of Rosatom)

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