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The Arctic: ecology and economy
ISSN 2223-4594
Home Archive of journals Issue 2(34) 2019 Small Nuclear Power Plants in the Arctic Regions: Issues of Economic Feasibility and Environmental Safety


JOURNAL: 2019, 2(34), p. 120-128

RUBRIC: New technologies for the Arctic

AUTHORS: Pimenov A.O., Kulikov D.G., Vasilyev A.P., Molokanov N.A.


DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2019-2-120-128

UDC: 621.039.4.003

The article was received on: 30.11.2018

Keywords: low-power nuclear power plants, distributed power, generation efficiency

Bibliographic description: Pimenov A.O., Kulikov D.G., Vasilyev A.P., Molokanov N.A. Small Nuclear Power Plants in the Arctic Regions: Issues of Economic Feasibility and Environmental Safety. The Arctic: ecology and economy, 2019, no. 2(34), pp. 120-128. DOI:10.25283/2223-4594-2019-2-120-128. (In Russian).


The specifics of power supply in remote and hard-to-reach territories is mainly due to the absence of major local electricity consumers and low unit capacity (up to 10 MW). As a rule, the situation is complicated by seasonal accessibility and underdevelopment of the transport infrastructure. Potentially, power supply issues can be comprehensively addressed either by expanding the centralized power supply area, or by decentralizing and diversifying the generating capacity. Renewable power generation has demonstrated over recent years a growth in economic efficiency but the natural and climatic conditions typical of northern territories hamper widespread deployment of electricity generating facilities based on conversion of solar, wind or tidal energy. The article deals with the organization of a decentralized power grid using small nuclear power plants (SNPP). The economic feasibility of creating an SNPP in the short term can be achieved through the serial factory production of the plant large-block elements thus significantly reducing maximum levels of capital and operating costs. Already, as of today, SNPPs, when deployed in the decentralized power supply zones are able to compete with diesel-electric plants in the areas with substantial logistic component of the energy cost. By all means the potentiality of radioactive elements’ release into the environment as the operation process result makes a nuclear plant different from conventional facilities. The article describes the approaches to ensure environmental safety. A brief analysis of local power supply options using atomic energy as per JSC NIKIET’s designs is also presented, the competitive environment is evaluated, the main technical and economic indicators are given, and small nuclear generation facilities developed today are described shortly along with their economic indices.


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DOI 10.25283/2223-4594