Friday, 6 December 2013

Floating SMR: Russia’s answer to flexible low maintenance nuclear power?

Floating SMR: Russia’s answer to flexible low maintenance nuclear power? "While the US remains the most promising market for SMR development and installation, Russia is making waves with its barge-based technology. It might just be the added-value proposition of low maintenance and no decommissioning that is the clincher. This article has been updated. Russia is quite literally pushing the boat out with small modular reactor (SMR) technology. Earlier this year, World Nuclear News reported on how Rosenergoatom, Russia’s state-owned manufacturer, had put two reactors onto a barge in Saint Petersburg after four years of testing. The barge-based plant is intended to set sail for northeast Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula, in the East Siberian Sea, to serve mining interests close to the Arctic, according to reports. But Russia, which is working on a number of SMR variants, clearly expects to be able to commercialise its floating designs abroad, too. “The Russian business model, as I understand it, is that they will simply tow in a 40MWe unit, connect it to your drop line, and provide you with power for up to three years,” says Jay Harris, an SMR consultant based in Canada. “They will either charge you a flat rate to provide the capacity and availability for the power, or use a per-kilowatt-hour fixed price model. When the unit requires service or refuelling, they tow in a new unit and disconnect the old one.” Old reactors will return to a centralised service yard in Russia, he adds, so as well as having no upfront cost the electricity customer does not have to deal with spent fuel issues or even outages."’s-answer-flexible-low-maintenance-nuclear-power#sthash.znkUKIod.dpuf

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