Rosatom SMR solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa: floating nuclear power plants and beyond

By The Inspirer Writer.

There has been widespread interest in the development of civil nuclear programs in Africa. Nuclear power plants are cheaper to run than their coal or gas rivals even if we factor in spent nuclearfuel management and disposal. Other important advantage is aregularityof nuclear power supply: contrary to renewable source of energy which are dependable on the weather conditions.

Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, has never been viewed as a robust market for nuclear power. With the emergence of small modular reactors (SMRs) technology, nuclear increases its chances to be considered as a feasible option to address regional energy needs in a low carbon and stable energy generation with predictable costs.

SMRs offer unique benefits such as easy grid connection, flexibility in terms of placement, multipurpose application and possible integration with renewables. They can be a good alternative to diesel generators providing reliable power supply and preventing harmful emissions at a competitive price. One more advantage is that they offer lower capital investment which can be crucial point while taking a decision of their deployment.

The latest developments of inthis area feature Russian RITM series SMR designed for nuclear icebreakers, land-based small NPPs, and floating nuclear power plants. It is based on times proved pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology and Rosatom 400 reactor-years of experience in operation of small modular reactors.

This advanced technology incorporates all the best features from its predecessors – ship reactors. Rosatom has already constructed six RITM series reactors by now. RITM-200 reactors have already been manufactured and installedon Arktika, Sibir and Ural nuclear icebreakers. The technology has proven its efficiency and ultimate safety throughout all stage of the life cycle including radio-active waste management.

Ryan Collyer, acting CEO, Rosatom Central and Southern Africa

At present, Rosatom is working on the optimized version of the floating nuclear power plant based on RITM series reactors. Recently in May 2020,the Russian nuclear state corporation has fully commissioned its first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov with two KLT-40 reactors that in a pair produce up to 77 MW of electricity. KLT-40 is a predeсessor of RITM series SMR. FNPPAkademik Lomonosovis the northernmost nuclear power plant in the world that provides electricityto the isolated Chaun-Bilibino network in Pevek, Chukotka, Russia’s Far East.

“We are working hard to do our part in delivering the great stories from our industry, to highlight its true potential to become a catalyst for sustainable development in Africa. We all understand that nuclear will play a vital role in achieving the United Nations sustainability goals not only in Africa but across the globe,” noted Ryan Collyer, acting CEO, Rosatom Central and Southern Africa speaking at the Africa Energy Indaba Forum in Cape Town (South Africa) earlier this year.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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