- Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant flipped the power switch on Thursday, December 19 for the first time
- The unit, with the electric generation capacity of roughly 70 megawatts, can power a city of 100,000 people
- The project has been welcomed by scientists, nuclear energy experts and environmentalists across the world
History was recorded on Thursday, December 19 as a floating nuclear power plant was connected to the grid and commenced electricity production for the first time in a remote region of Russia.
The initiative which is the brainchild of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom, has the capacity of roughly 70 megawatts that can power a city of 100,000 people.
The floating power unit (FPU) is called Akademik Lomonosov and the beneficiary city is Pevek, Chukotka, Russia’s Far East.
Celebrating the feat, Pevek residents marked the symbolic day by turning on the fairy lights on the town’s Christmas tree.
“After its connection to the grid, Akademik Lomonosov becomes the world’s first nuclear power plant based on SMR-class technology to generate electricity.
“This is a remarkable milestone for both the Russian and the world’s nuclear energy industry. This is also a major step in establishing Pevek as the new energy capital of the region,” Rosatom’s CEO Alexey Likhachev said
The project has been welcomed by scientists, nuclear energy experts and environmentalists across the world.
Kirsty Gogan, Head of Energy for Humanity, an NGO (London), said: “For hard-to-reach regions, with a climate that is simultaneously too harsh to support the use of renewable energies and too fragile to continue its heavy dependence on fossil fuels, small nuclear, including floating plants, is the only answer.
“Akademik Lomonosov is the first step towards demonstrating its potential for decarbonisation of the Arctic and beyond.”
Akademik Lomonosov is a pilot project and a ‘working prototype’ for a future fleet of floating nuclear power plants and on-shore installations based on Russian-made SMRs.
The small power units will be available for deployment to hard-to-reach areas of Russia’s North and Far-East, as well as for export.
Nigeria can benefit from such project leveraging on its relationship with the Russian government.
Meanwhile, while Nigeria presses on with its plan to diversify the nation's energy mix - with the inclusion of nuclear energy, Uganda, on the other hand, has also embraced the prospects of nuclear energy.
To this end, the East African nation, has signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy - with Russia.
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