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World’s only floating nuclear power plant sets sail in Russia

Akademik Lomonosov, the world’s, so far, only nuclear floating power unit (FPU), has set sail from the Baltic Shipyard in Russia. The unit is en route to its final destination – Pevek, Chukotka (in Russia’s Far East), where it will operate as a floating nuclear power plant. Akademik Lomonosov will first be towed to Murmansk, where nuclear fuel will be loaded into its reactors. First criticality of the reactors is scheduled for autumn 2018. The nuclear FPU is equipped with two KLT-40C reactor systems (each with a capacity of 35 MW) similar to those used on icebreakers. Designed by Russian nuclear scientists and naval architects, the vessel is 144 metres long and 30 metres wide, and has a displacement of 21,000 tonnes. Akademik Lomonosov – the first ship of this kind – was named after the 18th century Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov. The lifecycle of the nuclear FPU is 40 years with the possibility of being extended to up to 50 years. After decommissioning, the FPU will be towed to a special deconstruction and recycling facility. Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation is already working on second generation FPUs, or Optimized Floating Power Units (OFPUs), which will be equipped with two RITM-200M reactors (each with a capacity of 50 MW). In addition to having a greater power capacity, OFPUs will be smaller than their predecessors.
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