Green and efficient
New energy solutions will be widely applied in the Arctic13 september 2022
Nuclear power, as a sustainable and reliable source of electricity generation, is becoming a driver of macro-regional development. This was the conclusion reached by the participants in the session 'The Far East and the Arctic: A Territory of New Energy' held on the margins of the EEF 2022. It was organised by ROSATOM, which is already prepared to create a reliable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective energy supply system.
«The Far East, the northern territories are the best testing grounds for new energy solutions, their approbation and further replication», – believes Alexey Likhachev, Director General of ROSATOM.
At the session 'The Far East and the Arctic: A Territory of New Energy,' Likhachev cited successful examples of the use of this testing ground.
«We already have a number of projects in the Far East: the unique floating nuclear power station Akademik Lomonosov in Pevek, which is unlikely to have any analogues in the world in the near future. There is a modernised floating power unit and four such units will operate at the Baimsky GOK. There is an onshore small NPP project for the development of the Kyuchus field. There is a request for even smaller reactors», – said Likhachev.
Cost-effective and reliable nuclear power will enable investment projects that would not be possible without Rosatom's involvement.
«The construction of a small capacity nuclear power plant in Ust-Kuig, which we have started with Rosatom, will really change the Yakut Arctic. It will be the biggest mining project. It will allow the development of gold and tin deposits and the emergence of a huge industrial Yansk territory with an energy heart in the form of a small capacity nuclear power plant», – reported Aisen Nikolaev, head of Yakutia
Accelerating economic development is by no means the only challenge that the switch to nuclear power addresses.
«The construction, operation and further development of the region's energy sector must be not only economically efficient but also environmentally friendly. There is a need to find a replacement for the diesel-powered plants currently widely used in the Arctic regions», – believes Vladimir Likhachev, Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure Development at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
Chukotka was one of the first Arctic regions to be able to fully appreciate the benefits of nuclear power generation.
«By 2031, with the commissioning of the four modernised floating power units, the share of nuclear in Chukotka's energy sector will already be 68.4%. This will reduce the carbon footprint and give an impetus to the development of the area where the plants are located, improve people's quality of life and implement a major investment project—the development of the Baimskaya Ore Zone», – said Roman Kopin, governor of the Chukotka Autonomous Area.
The experience of operating the first floating nuclear power station, Akademik Lomonosov, made it possible to develop a series project for such stations in the Arctic version.
At the end of August, the hull of Russia's first floating nuclear power unit in an Arctic design was laid in a shipyard in China. A total of four such units will be built, each with a capacity of 106 MW. They will be working in the waters of Cape Nagleyngyn in Chukotka.
The first floating nuclear power plant in the series will be delivered to Russia by the end of 2023 for completion and installation of equipment. The nuclear power units—RITM-200S reactors—for all four NPPs are already being manufactured at Atomenergomash's facilities.
The use of heavy fuel oil poses no less of a threat to the fragile Arctic environment than diesel-fuelled plants. The Murmansk Region is among the 'fuel oil-dependent' regions. Obtaining energy and heat from boiler houses that run on fuel oil is not only unsustainable but also costly: the annual loss to the regional budget from rising prices for this type of fuel is about RUB 9 bn. Therefore, Gazprom has already started developing a gasification project for the Murmansk Region. This was stated by Andrey Chibis, head of the region, following a meeting with Alexey Miller, chairman of the company's management board, in St. Petersburg on 30 August 2022. The Volkhov–Murmansk gas pipeline will be laid to bring gas to the Kola Peninsula.