Rosatom to Build Four Floating Nuclear Power Units for Baimskaya Project

Photo: Kantor Vadim/

Rosatom to Build Four Floating Nuclear Power Units for Baimskaya Project

There is work underway to secure a clean and reliable source of energy for the Baimskaya copper project in Chukotka, Russian Arctic. Under a contract signed earlier this year, the national nuclear monopoly Rosatom will build for the mentioned project four floating nuclear power units by 31 July 2031. According to Rosatom, the cost of the units will total USD 2.7 billion.

The units are expected to be an updated version of those installed at the Akademik Lomonosov power barge currently deployed in the city of Pevek, Chukotka as a replacement to the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant, which is scheduled for decommissioning. Each unit equipped with two RITM-200S reactors should have the minimum net generating capacity of 106 MW.

The agreement between Rosatom and Kazakhstan-owned Baimskaya Mining Company as regards supplying carbon-free energy to the project was reached in September this year on the margins of the Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok. In accordance with the contract, first two power units should be commissioned by early 2027, the third one by early 2028 and the fourth one in early 2031.

The rationale behind the use of nuclear energy for powering up the mining and processing facility, which is expected to become a major producer of gold and copper on a global scale, deserves an explanation. In light of climate change and regulatory restrictions that are being imposed worldwide on fossil fuels, nuclear power is regarded as both economic and environmentally-friendly solution capable of meeting the most demanding criteria in terms of carbon neutrality. The units are being designed so as to strictly comply with the highest safety and security standards, with human and environmental safety in mind.

In turn, new small nuclear power plants in Chukotka will provide energy not only for the gold and copper plant, but also for numerous remote off-grid settlements of the area.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
9 November 2021
Arctic Today