The Moscow Branch of the Rosatom Technical Academy hosted the Interregional Training Course on Specific Design Considerations of Nuclear Cogeneration Projects Using Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Microreactors (MRs). The event was held under the IAEA INT2023 Technical Cooperation Project «Supporting Member States’ Capacity Building on Small Modular Reactors and Micro-reactors and their Technology and Applications as a Contribution of Nuclear Power to the Mitigation of Climate Change».
The Training Course was developed by the IAEA to raise awareness and to improve knowledge, capacity building and safety review capability in developing countries as far as all the fundamental aspects of SMRs and MRs deployment and their electric and non-electric applications are concerned, mitigating climate changes and integrating the basic principles of circular economy.
«The IAEA supports and facilitates the development of new and emerging applications of nuclear technologies by co-generation and heat applications, including seawater desalination. It provides for the exchange of information on the various non-electric applications; publishes technical and economic documents; works with Member States in the context of coordinated research programmes; and organizes technical meetings on the topic» - said Alina Constantin, project officer for non-electric applications of nuclear energy of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy.
15 participants from 12 countries gathered in Moscow to learn about the development of new and emerging applications of nuclear technologies. These technologies include seawater desalination, hydrogen production, district heating, and process heating for industrial purposes.
«As the global community strives to meet climate goals, expanding nuclear`s role in non-electric applications could be key to a successful clean energy transition» - said an international expert of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission Mr Shiran Kamal Lutfi Altaher in his welcome speech.
Throughout the week, participants had the opportunity to learn about nuclear technology's non-energy applications and practiсe on the Desalination Economic Evaluation Program DEEP and on the Desalination Thermodynamic Optimization Programme DE-TOP to perform economic, thermodynamic, and optimization analyses of different power resources coupled to various desalination processes.
Experts of OKBM Afrikantov JSC Mr Andrey Kim and Mr Alexander Turusov, familiarized the participants with the Russian experience in the construction of floating nuclear power units and the development of their safety system. Director of the A.V. Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Mr Anton Maksimov, introduced the audience to the main developments in the field of hydrogen production as well as the future potential of hydrogen energy in Russia.
To introduce the participants to modern technical methods for NPP personnel training, a tour to the Rosatom Technical Academy in Obninsk was organized within the programme of the Training Course. The participants saw a model of a hypothetical nuclear facility and a complex for visualizing models of nuclear power plants. In addition, they visited an analytical multifunctional simulator and had a chance to become operators of the reactor compartment.
Moreover, the participants had the opportunity to visit one of the leading global manufacturers and suppliers of nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants (NPPs) — Machinery Manufacturing Plant in the city of Elektrostal. The participants discovered the technological processes of manufacturing fuel pellets, fuel elements, and fuel assemblies for further supply to NPPs.
Though only about 1 per cent of nuclear energy is currently used for non-electric applications. However, there are initiatives around the world to pave the way for broader adoption. For example, last year the IAEA launched a new Coordinated Research Project (CRP) to assess the various nuclear cogeneration applications and explore why and how countries could consider nuclear cogeneration in their portfolio of options to address the climate challenge.
Akademik Lomonosov, the world’s first floating nuclear power plant (FNPP), is located at the Russian port of Pevek, Chukotka. Rosatom developed the FNPP through its electric power division Rosenergoatom. Named after Mikhail Lomonosov, an 18th-century Russian scientist, the 70MW floating power unit (FPU) is equipped with two small modular reactors (SMR). It has been developed as a pilot project for a future fleet of floating nuclear power plants to serve remote and isolated areas as well as offshore oil and gas fields. The Akademik Lomonosov FPU was connected to the isolated Chaun-Bilibino electricity network in Pevek, in the Chukotka Autonomous Region of Russia’s Far East, in December 2019. It had delivered 10 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity into the grid as of January 2020.
Floating power unit is a new effective solution to the challenges of energy supply to remote areas, large investment mining projects and energy-consuming industrial facilities. Currently, Rosatom is implementing the first "serial" project for the ecological energy supply to a large industrial cluster, i.e. construction of four floating power units for the Baimskaya ore zone is underway.