SNPP IN YAKUTIA PILOT PROJECT
Rosatom's sustainable practices
Case presented by Rusatom Overseas JSC, in cooperation with the Sustainable Development Department of Rosatom State Corporation
- Rusatom Overseas (RAOS)
- OKBM Afrikantov
- Rosenergoatom Concern
- Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Ust-Yanski Ulus, Ust-Kuyga settlement
- Ust-Kuyga residents
- Executive authorities of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
- ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation
- International nuclear community
The Sustainable Development Goals include universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy by 2030 (SDG 7), and increased resilience and adaptability to climate hazards in all countries (SDG 13). Achieving these goals in remote regions is a particular challenge.
Nuclear plants are one of the lowest-carbon sources of electricity generation and carry the base load of the power system. There are no direct CO2 emissions from nuclear power generation, which puts nuclear power on a par with renewable sources of generation. Greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of a nuclear power plant are second only to wind power, with cumulative emissions of 12 and 11 g CO2-eq/kWh respectively according to the IPCC. Nuclear power plants ensure a stable supply of electricity to consumers, unaffected by fuel prices or weather conditions, for at least 60 years, with the possibility of subsequent extension of service life.
Small nuclear power plants (SNPPs) are the optimal solution for stable and low-carbon power supply to consumers in areas remote from the central power grid, as well as for replacing old power plants with high CO2 emissions, including diesel and coal-fired thermal power plants.
The project, implemented by Rusatom Overseas, involves the construction of a small-capacity nuclear power plant based on a RITM-200N reactor unit, with a total output of at least 55 MW, near the Ust-Kuiga settlement in the Ust-Yansk district of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
The SNNP construction project in Yakutia is based on Rosatom's reference technology using RITM-200 reactors, designed with many years of experience in operating small reactors on ships of the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet. Successful implementation of the SNNP project will serve as proof for further scaling of this kind of solutions to power remote regions.
The construction of a small-capacity NPP will ensure energy independence of the faraway region, a stable, clean, supply of electric power and heating, including power for energy-intensive industries, and reduction of harmful emissions into the atmosphere (including CO2) by replacing up to 3 MW of current diesel and coal-fired generation.
The project for the construction of the ASMM in the republic is going within the framework of the agreement of intent signed in September 2019 between the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM. On December 23, 2020, ROSATOM and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) signed an agreement "On Approaches to Tariff Setting and Ensuring the Profitability of ASMM with RITM-200 Reactor Units". As part of the agreement, the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) will ensure sales of up to 50 MW of electricity generated by the ASMM and confirms its readiness to assist in determining the location of the ASMM, given the high importance of the project for the region's development. On April 20, 2021, the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) ratified a declaration of intent to invest in the above-ground SNPP project was approved earlier by the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Pre-project field surveys and cameral work were completed. On June 23, 2021, the public hearings on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) materials and the license justification materials were successfully held in Ust-Kuyga settlement for the facility "Construction of the Small Capacity Nuclear Power Plant with the RITM-200N Reactor Plant of at least 55 MW".
Obtaining a siting license is scheduled for the end of 2022, a construction license for 2024, and an operation license for the end of 2026. The plant is scheduled for commercial commissioning in 2028.
MULTIPLICATIVE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE PROJECT ON THE REGION
- Clean heat supply: along with power supply, the SNPP will make it possible to provide clean heat to the residents of Ust-Kuiga settlement
- The SNPP needs to be supplied with fuel every 5-6 years, which will enable the region to be energy-independent
- The SNPP will help cut electric energy tariffs by up to 2 times from the current approved tariffs in the region
- Replacing old coal boilers with the SNPP will allow saving up to 20 thousand tons of CO2 emissions per year
- Saving water resources: the SNPP design allows installing dry cooling towers, which will practically eliminate the need for water supply, increasing the plant's independence from water resources
- Development of the scientific human resource potential of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)d from Yakutia will be trained in two leading Russian universities (MEPhI and Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University) in programs to train specialists to work at the SNPP
- Development of the Yakut Arctic energy industry cluster, infrastructure, and small and medium-sized businesses, including:
- opportunity for large, energy-intensive projects with large amounts of investment (development of the Kyuchus gold deposit);
- new jobs during construction (up to 800 jobs) and after commissioning (more than 1,000 jobs), and employment of local residents;
- improved quality of life in the cluster development areas and in the Republic as a whole;
- accelerated growth of living standards in the region and alignment with Russia's national averages
- Application of other high-tech products in the SNPP region: the prospect of hydrogen generation with the SNPP-supplied energy