Russia is putting major resources into freeing up the Northeast shipping passage which they see as an important new area of economic development.
This ship can produce 70 MW, enough to illuminate and heat a city with a population of 100,000 people.
Anchor, Dmitry Kiselyov:
As opposed to Trump, the situation in the Far East is perceived far more sensitively by Premier of Japan Shinzō Abe.
The Far East for him is an opportunity for large-scale projects of both economic and peace consolidating nature. Here, for example, are the words he uses to depict the Northeast Passage, extending its route through the northern part of the Pacific Ocean up to the Sea of Japan:
“I think it'll be a strong bulwark that will support both the region and the entire world. I think that both the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea, the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, all these regions will be connected by the main sea passage of peace and prosperity.”
Meanwhile, Russia is sending to the Far East the world's first floating nuclear power plant, "Akademik Lomonosov". On the way from St. Petersburg, she made a stop in Murmansk. There will be fuel charging, and after that, off to Chukotka shell go. A long way through the Arctic Ocean to the port of Pevek. There, the floating NPP will be connected to the land-side infrastructure.
From the Northern Capital to the Russian Arctic Capital. A floating nuclear power plant slides through the cold waves of the Kola Bay. Mooring goes to the roar of icebreaker horns and music of a military band. "Akademik Lomonosov" will become the northernmost nuclear power plant in the world.
The work is to be in Chukchi Pevek. It's not a captain's bridge but a surveillance station. The FNPP has no screws or rudder. For Vasiliy Golokhvastov, who worked the atomic ice-breaker "Sovetskiy Soyuz," it's a challenge.
Vasiliy Golokhvastov, captain:
“Imagine a car with no steering wheel or pedals. You're sitting in the driver's seat, and it feels like this.”
But, perhaps, this is just the case when seaworthiness is not so important.
“These are the ship's service systems. You can monitor the still frames by selecting them with the trackball. From the so-called zero still frame, you can select any system and see its condition.”
This is the central control panel of the FNPP. In fact, it's the same as at a conventional NPP but scaled. Security systems are duplicated several times. All regular and emergency situations are worked out on land. If the control panel is the brain of the plant, then this is its heart: one of the two reactor installations.
Two reactors are capable of producing 70 MW. It is enough to illuminate and heat a city with a population of 100,000 people.
Dmitry Alekseenko, Rosenergoatom:
"The steel casing here has a thickness of over 32 mm, the bulkheads are reinforced, the bio-defense consists of metal plates 100 mm thick."
This compartment is built to safely transfer nuclear fuel from the storage to the reactor and vice versa. The FNPP will operate autonomously, with dock maintenance scheduled once in 12 years.
Mikhail Kovalchuk, Kurchatov Institute President:
"You can bring these stations to any place and provide the energy there, and remove it afterward. It's especially important for us because we have a lot of hard-to-reach areas. It's the basis for the possibility of formation of a fundamentally new energy market with the motto: Energy is for everyone, technology is in the developer's hands."
After loading fuel, the FNPP will go through its final tests. Atomflot's port will be the ground for them. The Kola Bay is also the patrimony of the Russian Atomic Icebreaker Fleet. By the way, it's the only one in the whole world. From the water, the whole infrastructure of the unique base is clearly seen. Four atomic ice-breakers, an atomic transport, service ships. The fleet provides year-round navigation in the western sector of the Northeast Passage. The captain of the new tug (built in 2016) moors tankers with condensed gas in the port of Sabetta.
Sergey Andreev, Pur tug captain:
"Currently, the towing power is 5000 horsepower."
A few more atomic icebreakers have been laid at the shipbuilding plants to develop the Arctic. The task is to make the entire Northeast Passage navigable year-round. Atomic ice-breakers will accompany the FNPP on the way to Pevek. "Akademik Lomonosov" will go to Chukotka next summer. Conditions for the crew aren't worse than in hotel rooms: a gym, a sauna, a pool. There are single and double cabins.
Vladimir Burtasov, Chief Security Officer:
"There's a bathroom, a shower room, a TV. There will be wire communication and the Internet."
Having moored in Pevek, "Lomonosov" will replace the Bilibino NPP. The work of the station will show how many more FNPPs are needed for the country and the world: the countries of Southeast Asia and Africa are already showing interest.