Small modular reactor (SMR) – based nuclear power plants, both floating and onshore, open up a great sustainable development opportunity for the whole world including India. In an interview with ET’s Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury Nikita Mazein, Vice President of Rusatom Overseas (Rusatom Overseas is a company within the Rosatom State Corporation Group) explains how small reactors can play a big role in phasing out coal-fired power plants.
The first question relates to the world's biggest urgent issue of climate change and on the role small reactors can play in phasing out coal-fired power plants (US and other countries have retired many coal-fired plants).
Small modular reactor (SMR) - based plants, both floating and onshore, open up a great sustainable development opportunity for the whole world.
As you know, Rosatom has successfully deployed the world’s first floating NPP in the Arctic region. It is home to 4 million people, with the region being heavily dependent on fossil fuels in its energy supply. Currently, they are mostly coal and oil, which has an extremely negative impact on the environment. Air and water pollution harms valuable ecosystems, which leads to a reduction in human life expectancy and a complete extinction of some species and living organisms. SMRs can help to mitigate the negative impact and, hopefully, put an end to it.
The Akademik Lomonosov floating NPP will replace the Chaunskaya Power Plant that currently operates by burning brown coal – probably the most harmful type of fuel.
There are more than 50,000 people who live and work in the Chukotka Region. SMRs therefore not only pursue long-term sustainable development – which is impossible without a stable energy supply – but also the region’s energy security. As a result, not only will Akademik Lomonosov contribute to eliminating harmful emissions in the Arctic ecosystem, it will also provide guarantees that the region’s inhabitants will not be left without light and heat in the freezing Far North.
We see the Arctic region as one of the possible sites to deploy our first land-based SMR NPP equipped with new generation RITM series reactors that is due to be connected to the grid by 2027.