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Rusatom Overseas and CNNC New Energy to partner on floating nuclear power plants

Rusatom Overseas, a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM, and CNNC New Energy (China) signed a Memorandum of Intent to cooperate in the development of floating nuclear power plants. The next step in the implementation of the project will be establishment of a joint Chinese-Russian working group. Rusatom is currently building its first floating nuclear plant, the Akademik Lomonosov; the second of the vessel’s two reactors was installed in February.

The Chinese delegation came to St. Petersburg and Moscow on 24-29 July. The delegation visited the Floating NPP Training Center and the Baltic Shipyard and met with the members of the team for the reference floating NPP construction project, and examined the floating power generating unit currently under construction.

The potential use of floating nuclear power plants is significant. The design provides for two options: self-propelled or barge-mounted floating NPPs [e.g., the Lomonosov]. They might be connected to coastal infrastructure or float next to consumer. Floating NPPs can provide a reliable power supply not only to remote settlements, for example, in the Far North and Far East regions, but also to large industrial facilities such as oil platforms.

—D. Aliev, CEO of Rusatom Overseas

The Akademik Lomonosov. Rosatom is building its first floating NPP at the Baltiysky Zavod-Shipbuilding shipyard in St Petersburg. The 70 MWe plant has dual 220-tonne steam generating units, each with a 35 MWe (150 MWt) KLT-40S reactor, based on the reactor unit powering nuclear icebreakers.

RP flow diagram for the KLT-40S. Click to enlarge.   Safety levels in the Lomonosov. Click to enlarge.

Russia’s OKBM Afrikantov completed the assembly of the two reactors for the Akademik Lomonosov, in 2009. (OKBM has participated in realization of reactor plant (RP) designs for nuclear ships since 1954.)

The keel of the Akademik Lomonosov was laid in April 2007 at Sevmash in Severodvinsk, but the project was subsequently transferred to the Baltiysky Zavod. The 21,500 tonne hull was launched in 2010, although construction work was frozen in mid-2011 amid bankruptcy proceedings against the shipyard.

The company was subsequently acquired by state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation and Rosenergoatom signed a new contract in December 2012 with Baltiysky Zavod shipyard for the completion of the floating NPP.

The plant is now scheduled for delivery on 9 September 2016 and will be deployed near the port of Pevek on Russia’s Chukotka peninsula on the East Siberian Sea.

New design for floating NPPs. Earlier this year, researchers in the US presented a new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling. Such a design, as described at the Small Modular Reactors Symposium by MIT professors Jacopo Buongiorno, Michael Golay, and Neil Todreas, along with others from MIT, the University of Wisconsin, and Chicago Bridge and Iron, could ride out tsunamis. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.

Such plants, Buongiorno said, could be built in a shipyard, then towed to their destinations five to seven miles offshore, where they would be moored to the seafloor and connected to land by an underwater electric transmission line. The concept takes advantage of two mature technologies: light-water nuclear reactors and offshore oil and gas drilling platforms. Using established designs minimizes technological risks, says Buongiorno, an associate professor of nuclear science and engineering (NSE) at MIT.

The current concept of a floating nuclear plant on a barge moored at the shore—e.g., the Akademik Lomonosov—is not located far enough offshore to be able to ride out a tsunami, Buongiorno says. For this new design, he says, “the biggest selling point is the enhanced safety.”

A floating platform several miles offshore, moored in about 100 meters of water, would be unaffected by the motions of a tsunami; earthquakes would have no direct effect at all. Meanwhile, the biggest issue that faces most nuclear plants under emergency conditions—overheating and potential meltdown, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island—would be virtually impossible at sea, Buongiorno said.

It’s very close to the ocean, which is essentially an infinite heat sink, so it’s possible to do cooling passively, with no intervention. The reactor containment itself is essentially underwater.

—Jacopo Buongiorno

At the end of a plant’s lifetime, decommissioning could be accomplished by simply towing it away to a central facility, as is done now for the Navy’s carrier and submarine reactors.

This design could also help to address practical construction issues that have tended to make new nuclear plants uneconomical: Shipyard construction allows for better standardization, and the all-steel design eliminates the use of concrete, which Buongiorno said is often responsible for construction delays and cost overruns.

There are no particular limits to the size of such plants, he said: They could be anywhere from small, 50-megawatt plants to 1,000-megawatt plants matching today’s largest facilities.

Buongiorno sees a market for such plants in Asia, which has a combination of high tsunami risks and a rapidly growing need for new power sources.

This is a “very attractive and promising proposal,” said Toru Obara, a professor at the Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors at the Tokyo Institute of Technology who was not involved in this research. “I think this is technically very feasible. Of course, further study is needed to realize the concept, but the authors have the answers to each question and the answers are realistic.


  • KLT-40S Reactor Plant for the floating CNPP FPU (OKBM)

  • Jacopo Buongiorno, Michael Golay, Neil Todreas, Angelo Briccetti, Jake Jurewicz, Vincent Kindfuller, Daniel Fadel, Ganesh Srinivasan, Ryan Hannink, Alan Crowle and Michael Corradini (2014) “Offshore Small Modular Reactor (OSMR): An Innovative Plant Design for Societally Acceptable and Economically Attractive Nuclear Energy in a Post-Fukushima, Post-9/11 World,” ASME 2014 Small Modular Reactors Symposium doi: 10.1115/SMR2014-3306



Another advantage of MITs floating nuclear design is that when anti-nuclear nutcases decide to alter the rules of the game and shut down plants at the cost of shareholders the plants can simply be towed away.

If Germany had just had to watch much of their generating capacity sail away without being able to stick the shareholders with the cost I doubt very much that there would have been any closure orders.


I like this idea. As Dave pointed out, mobile reactors have the option of being move in&out of an area based on the ever changing wants and needs of the citizenry.


When radiation reaches Chernobyl levels one can hoist anchor and move on.


They can resist tsunami's, but the wave of FUD and ignorance causes real problems.


But can a un-insurable technology with a 300% cost over-run history ever turn a profit?

"Tepco recently said compensation for evacuated
residents and decontamination of areas outside the boundary of the Fukushima plant could double from previous estimates to almost $125 billion."


"Chernobyl disaster, 1986: $15 billion estimated cost of direct loss. It is estimated that the damages could accumulate to €235 billion for Ukraine and €201 billion for Belarus in the thirty years following the accident;"

€436 billion = $585,000,000,000

General Electric Net income: US$ 13.057 billion (2013)

In other words, the costs of just TWO nuclear power plant($710B) accidents wipes out over 54 years of typical NET Income(profits) of the the oldest/largest US electric energy corporation!!!

It's BEYOND just "..the wave of FUD and ignorance.." that "causes real problems." Davemart.


This would be really useful for Hawaii which has very high electricity prices and a large number of nuclear power plants floating in the their harbours.


I have said it before and I will say it again. The only way nukes get built is if the Government guarantees all debt and liability. These may be fine ideas, but investors will not put up the money unless there is no risk.


Fake risk assessments have cost a heck of a lot of money by enforcing unnecessary evacuations over vast areas.
That is the cost of listening to hysterics, not the cost of nuclear power.
It would be as sensible to legislate that all aircraft should be made of lead due to radiation risk from the sun at high altitude, then moan that air travel was impossibly expensive.

You seem to be shaky on how insurance works.
No industry covers the risks from all possible events, and the coal industry for instance does not even come close to paying for the massive ongoing environmental costs and firmly attributable deaths.


Due to the higher coal burn than would otherwise happen due to opposition to nuclear power huge numbers of people die each year due to the emissions from coal, killed by hysteria and protection against non-existent risks via the infamous Linear No Limits nonsense.

What killed people mainly at Chernobyl and wholly at Fukushima was the evacuations carried out on a totally unnecessary scale due to panic caused by 'greens' and the stress of prolonged evacuation and people being conned that they were at great risk from radiation when their exposure was trivial.

The killer was green hysteria, and most of the cost, not radiation and nuclear.

Check our what the World Health Organisation has to say on the real radiation risks, and the death toll from stress and evacuation promulgated by the greens.


The pick and mix attitude to science amongst greens is where the problem lies.

So Kyota rightly identified global warming as a problem with a strong scientific consensus, and greens properly decried what they termed 'climate change deniers'.

They then went on to flatly rule out the proven way to do something about it, nuclear, which for decades in France has drastically reduced omissions.

So we build vastly expensive renewables, which are utterly dependent on fossil fuels to cover most of the power, which is the reality of the miss-named 'back-up'

Fossil fuels are a proven killer, especially in places like China where restrictions made it more difficult for them to devvelop nuclear for decades, but also in the West.

Meanwhile against a proven background of deaths from fossil fuel flimsy Linear No Threshold models are applied to exagerrate the risks from nuclear.

The same models and even absurd superstitious voodoo notions, like the spill of a barrel of low level waste in the sea of Japan having some effect on Australia are used to support long continued evacuations from Fukushima and a huge area around Chernobyl when the mortality arising from such panic measures is a proven fact.

Clearly responses should be proportional to the scientifically verified risk.

This principal has been thrown out of the window with predictable consequences in deaths in the same way that in the event of a small and containable fire on board ship people running around telling everyone to throw themselves in the water would be highly likely to kill many of them.

FUD kills.
So do greens distorting risks.


Davemart, I once held your position, believe in R&D, and once believed in nuclear promises, but 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl, and finally Fukushima were the 'three strikes - your out' for most people.

"You seem to be shaky on how insurance works.
No industry covers the risks from all possible events,.." but private commercial insurance is profitable because it can mitigate enough risk for the policyholder to actually survive.

I mentioned the equivalent of 56 years of GE's profits wiped out by just two nuclear 'event' clean-up costs. Nuclear power has been SO publicly/militarily subsidized - true, total costs are MANY FOLD MORE.

"The NS Savannah, which cost $50m, was launched 55 years ago this week. It was to be an ambassador of sorts - the world's first nuclear-propelled merchant ship and a symbol of safety and faith in the fuel of the future."

Ask and answered.

Reality is thousands of nuclear ships? No, reality is that we can't totally, safely dispose of ANY nuclear waste..


This Thursday is the US nuclear construction freeze two year anniversary and NO massive protests are expected.

Your horse lost.

However, 300 tons of nuclear power plant waste(depleted uranium ammunition) were successfully disposed, with documented genetic mutations, in the Middle East oil wars.

There's some ".. massive ongoing environmental costs and firmly attributable deaths." to add to the seemingly endless nuclear power fiasco.

Nick Lyons

The good news about Chernobyl: wildlife is thriving in the 'forbidden zone'; as the land has gone back to nature the wolves, wild horses, bison, birds, giant carp, etc. etc. think evacuation was a great idea.


That's weird.

I thought it was supposed to be a post-apocalyptic desert where nothing at all could survive for the next few hundred thousand years at minimum according to the most restrained of green lobby publications.

Of course boring people like qualified radiologists and the scientific medical consensus based on levels of demonstrable harm come up with very different notions about unnecessary evacuations and so on, but in this case the medical and scientific consensus does not suit and so should clearly be ignored:

'Even more senseless was relocation of people from localities in Belarus,Ukraine,and Russia, far distant from the only really dangerous area, comprising only 0.5square kilometers, and reaching out to a maximum distance of 1.8km southwestward from the Chernobyl reactor.
But relocation was carried on even after 1986, resulting in the uprooting of 336,000 persons from their omesteads.
Now they can come back again.'


Now where is the fun in that?
Boringly relying on simply avoiding proven levels which are dangerous would have resulted in a problem about on the scale of other large industrial chemical plants etc.

That would clearly not help the anti-nuclear cause, not when panic can be created and hundreds of thousands evacuated completely unnecessarily.

None of that is their fault of course, and any unfortunate consequences arising from their ideological blinkers and wilfully ignoring the scientific consensus on risks are simply becuase they are so pure in heart.


"The NS Savannah, which cost $50m, was launched 55 years ago this week. It was to be an ambassador of sorts - the world's first nuclear-propelled merchant ship and a symbol of safety and faith in the fuel of the future."

The non-profitability of nuclear power has been 'ask & answered' a thousand times.

http://enenews.com/just-in-u-s-freezes-all-nuclear-reactor-construction-operating-licenses has it's 2nd anniversary Thursday and the FREEZE REMAINS.

A(the?) present US nuclear waste disposal method:

"According to Iraqi government statistics, the rate of cancer in the country has skyrocketed from 40 per 100,000 people prior to the First Gulf War in 1991, to 800 per 100,000 in 1995, to at least 1,600 per 100,000 in 2005."



Your horse lost - and is dying.


What the heck do you imagine any of that has to do with the subject?
You have wandered off first to nuclear shipping, with the technologies of the 50's or 60's, and then to depleted uranium!

There is absolutely no dispute that high doses of radiation delivered swiftly causes harm, it is low level doses that there is the dispute about.

Why don't you tell us instead why you choose to ignore the WHO assessments of the risks from radiation at Fukushima, ie none to speak of even using daft LNT assessments, and the PROVEN deaths from unnecessary evacuations?

Why are you completely ignoring the scientific consensus when it suits your book?
And the WHO assessments ARE the scientific consensus, and as they say themselves very much a worst case scenario, as they themselves draw attention to the lack of evidence for LNT?

Hysterical over-reaction has proven deaths, radiation at Fukushima hasn't.

Why are you advocating a policy proven to kill more people by over-reaction?


Oh yeah wildlife has returned to the Chernobyl forbidden zone, but studies have shown a decrease in the biodiversity of insects, birds and mammals and an increase in physical abnormalities & genetic mutations. Some species are doing just fine, others - not so much.

I found this interesting; http://documentaryheaven.com/wolves-in-chernobyl-dead-zone/


Well, if 'studies' have shown that, it is open and shut, isn't it!

Hang consensus conclusions, as long as you have studies!

BTW since wildlife will go all over the place, including into zones which really are highly radioactive and won't take the obvious precautions humans can and will, they are in some respects more at risk, not less.


Discussion of wildlife in the Chernobyl area is a tactic to distract from the obvious fact that according to the scientific consensus hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated unnecessarily due to scares about radiation and mortality has been considerable due to that and panic-mongering stress.

It is also a diversion from the fact that the results predicted by the likes of Greenpeace simply have not happened.

So all sorts of FUD is being thrown up to disguise the very obvious and verifiable fact that the green organisations were 100% wrong, and the panic they promulgated has been THE major cause of death.

Picking and choosing when to ignore scientific consensus by the greens is blatant.


"..You have wandered off first to nuclear shipping, with the technologies of the 50's or 60's, and then to depleted uranium!"

Davemart, the article is about floating nuclear power, which has ALREADY proven COMMERCIALLY unprofitable and COMMERCIALLY un-insurable in ships, as on land - for most of a century.

You don't seem to understand that depleted uranium ammunition is nuclear power plant/reactor fuel waste - it does not grow on trees.

Nuclear fuel waste(raw or processed ammo) come from nuclear power plants and DOES genetically mutate and kill living things, as does the noted 4,000% increase in human cancer from the spent(vaporized) depleted uranium US ammunition.


Nuclear waste is a key "why" 'U.S. Freezes All Nuclear Reactor Construction & Operating Licenses' and "All US Nuclear Reactor Construction & Operating Licenses"

.. wait for it..



Ask around, maybe the parents of some deformed Middle East children will return harmless depleted uranium dust to you and yours.

They have ~1000 tons to spare scattered throughout their suburbs.


Fair point about floating nuclear being the thread topic.

You were however the one who made the link to Chernobyl:
'When radiation reaches Chernobyl levels one can hoist anchor and move on.'

It is a different thing though to deliberately fire depleted uranium ammo at people to looking at civilian reactors.


Some say weaponable uranium waste is why, besides high corrosion, the US ~ skipped thorium reactors.

So many $trillions are buried in nuclear military, R&D, subsidies, subsidized public insurance, multi-fold cost over-runs, tax breaks, accidents, un/under-budgeted nuke power plant decommissions, deaths, radiation cancer increases, genetic mutations, .. that actual profits can't exist.

To a casual observer, the Fukushima plant seems to continually be getting worse.

YEARS of cleanup incomplete, containment radioactive storage overflowed, "Let's freeze the earth - that will save the ocean", etc, etc, "another $XX billion is needed", "can you say 'desperation?', .....


Actually Kelly that is not true. The waste from commercial nuclear reactors is totally useless for weapons.

The light water reactor route was chosen as it was simpler and more reliable. Uranium is not a scare material, it is about as abundant as tin which has been mined for over 5000 years by humans.

The Thorium route is cool because it extremely scalable and will provide a high power civilization for billions of humans for millions of years. However as you poijnt out the corrosion issues around Thorium molten salt reactors need to be fixed.


A nuclear powered ship and its economics have almost nothing to do with the very different engineering proposition of a floating reactor designed solely to generate power,
For a start, that could be up to 1,000MW or so, which would move one heck of a ship!
So the scaling is different and all the criteria for the build.

You still have not answered the question as to why you simply ignore the medical consensus on the effects of radiation at Chernobyl and Fukushima and the proven deaths that ill-advised evacuations caused.

The answer is of course simple.
The medical and scientific consensus does not suit your book so you continue to promulgate the most panic inducing FUD you can lay your hands on.

As I said, you are picking and mixing your attitude to scientific consensus.

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