Russia Ready To Engage Africa In Floating Nuclear Power Deals


Russia has expressed readiness to engage any African government that is interested in adopting the use of floating nuclear power plant to address energy supply challenges and ensure sustainable development.

Although there are land-based nuclear power plants across Europe, United States of America, Asia and South Africa, Russia is the first country in the world to have designed and operated floating nuclear power plant since August 2020.

The floating nuclear power plant – Akademik Lomonosov – was named after the 18th century Russian scientist, Mikhail Lomonosov.

The plant is located in Pevek, and it serves the Chukotka Region, the northernmost and coldest part of Russia.

It is equipped with two KLT-40S reactor systems each, with a 35MWe capacity 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 it has a displacement of 21,000 tonnes.

The Editor of Energy News Africa Limited, Mr Michael Creg Afful, had a rare opportunity to tour the facility with some reporters from South Africa, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and India at the instance of Russia’s state nuclear power corporation ROSATOM.

The reporters were welcomed by Andrey Valeryevich Zaslavsky, the Chief Engineer of the Floating Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP).

He took the reporters through the operations of the FNPP.

After his presentation, Viktor Nikolayevich Chyorny, the Deputy Chief Engineer for Engineering Support and Quality, conducted the reporters to tour the facility.

Viktor Nikolayevich Chyorny, the Deputy Chief Engineer for Engineering Support and Quality at the FNPP.

Speaking to Viktor Nikolayevich, Mr. Afful was told that the facility had been operating for almost four years without recording any incident.

Viktor Nikolayevich told that great lessons had been learnt since they started operating the FNPP, adding that “floating nuclear power technology is viable and feasible.”

Going into the future, Viktor Nikolayevich said Russia would be developing more floating nuclear power plants with higher generation capacity than the Akademik Lomonosov, which has two reactors each with a capacity of 35MWe.

Asked whether Akademik Lomonosov had been designed in such way that it could be operated under different weather conditions, Viktor Nikolayevich responded positively.

He explained that the FNPP is fully automated and designed with environmental safety, including the security of the crew.

“The FNPP can operate at temperatures ranging from minus 50 to plus 50 Centigrade,” he said.

Comparing the advantages of land-based nuclear power plant to floating nuclear power plant, Viktor Nikolayevich said floating nuclear power plant is cheaper to construct and can be moved to any location when it is needed.

“There is also zero CO2 emissions, predictability of operating costs throughout the whole FNPP’s lifecycle leading to low fuel prices volatility,’’ he said.

“Floating nuclear power plant will take about four years to construct,” he added.

He stressed that Russia would be more than willing to engage any African nation that is interested in floating nuclear power to solve their energy needs