Environmentalists find no problem with Russia’s floating nuclear power plant

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The Rosatom Floating Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP), Akademik Lomonosov, moored in the town of Pevek in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of Russia was visited on October 12 by a public expedition led by leading researcher Alexey Yekidin. at the Institute of Industrial Ecology of the Urals branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The expedition included environmentalists, academics and representatives of public associations. The participants were responsible for collecting and analyzing data on the environmental and radiological safety of the FNPP, as well as evaluating the plant and its overall operation and communicating their findings to the public.

Environmentalists carried out measurements both at the station itself and in the surrounding area, as well as in the town of Pevek. Their results showed that the background radiation in the vicinity of the plant and in the town of Pevek was attributable exclusively to natural sources and that the average value of did not exceed 0.12μSv / h in both locations.

“More than 20 measurements were taken in the industrial zone of the FNPP, as well as in the surroundings and in the town of Pevek, and no man-made radionuclides were found at the sites studied,” Yekidin said. “It was therefore concluded that the operation of the floating nuclear power plant has no negative impact on the radioecological situation in the region.

Alan Khasiev, chairman of the coordinating board of the interregional public environmental movement, Oka, said: “Our program has been operational since 2010. During this time, we have carried out 44 large-scale environmental monitoring expeditions to most of the nuclear power plants of design. Russian. operating both in Russia and abroad, as well as those under construction. The ecological expedition to the FNPP and around Pevek is the last step of this program.

Biologist and Green Party member Larisa Kosyuk said: “In the context of the carbon emissions regulations introduced by the EU, the FNPP project can serve as an example of green technologies in the energy sector. Such power plants will be especially useful in the Far North and Far East regions of Russia, where there are no hydrological energy resources, and the delivery of fuel – such as coal and petroleum products – is expensive.

Kirill Toropov, deputy director of the local branch of Rosenergoatom JSC, explained to the expedition participants the changes that have taken place in the city since the floating nuclear power plant was connected to the grid: “Not only the arrival of the FNPP introduced As an additional source of energy, it opened a new chapter in the development of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technologies in the energy sector of the region and in that of the country as a whole.

He added: “Since its commissioning, the FNPP has already established itself as a reliable and innovative source of thermal and electrical energy. One cannot help but notice its positive contribution to improving the environmental situation, both in Pevek itself (with a 30% reduction in soot emissions from the Chaunskaya CHPP) and in the surrounding water bodies. (as evidenced by the restoration of flora and fauna in Chaunskaya Bay and the return of seals and other species of marine animals).

Ivan Leyushkin, head of the municipal district of Pevek, stressed the importance of the expedition to educate people in the region about the safety of nuclear production. Leyushkin also spoke of the crucial role that the nuclear power plant plays in the development of the region: “Since the floating nuclear power plant started operating, 107 million rubles ($ 1.5 million) of socially significant projects have been carried out. been implemented in the district of Pevek. Our cooperation with Rosatom will continue in the future.

The FNPP is equipped with two KLT-40S reactors which supply 70 MWe of electrical energy and 50 Gcal / h of thermal energy to Pevek. It includes floating energy and onshore infrastructure. Since its commissioning, the FNPP has carried out continuous monitoring of the industrial environment, as well as monitoring of the air, soil cover, sea water, bottom sediments, aquatic biological resources. , as well as air emissions and the management of production and consumption waste. The cost of operating the plant’s environmental protection system amounted to more than 17 million rubles in 2020. The operation of the nuclear plant also avoided more than 300,000 tons of emissions. of CO2 equivalent in the atmosphere in 2019 and 2020.


Photo: Russia’s first public eco-friendly expedition to the floating nuclear power plant (Rosenergoatom)


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