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The world’s first “floating” nuclear power plant, called the Akademik Lomonosov, started up and is at 10 percent of its capacity.

The world’s first “floating” nuclear power plant (FNPP) started up and is at 10 percent of its capacity, according to the Russian state-run atomic energy corporation Rosatom.

Rosatom said it had started up the first reactor unit of Akademik Lomonosov, which would be towed to its final destination by next autumn, as scheduled.

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“We successfully conducted tests in accordance with the schedule. There is no doubt that by next autumn we will tow Akademik Lomonosov to Pevek, as planned. We consider this project as a new product which is of interest, not only for the grid-isolated Russian Arctic regions, but also for a number of other countries,” said Rosatom chief executive Alexey Likhachev.

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The power start-up is a series of functionality and safety tests conducted on Lomonosov’s reactor required to be completed before connection to the grid.

“During each stage, various operation modes are tested in order to ensure the FNPP’s safety. All tests are likely to be completed by March.

“In the second half of 2019, the FNPP will be transported to its final destination to the port of Pevek in Russia’s extreme north-eastern region of Chukotka, where it will replace the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant and the Chaunskaya coal-fired power plant,” the company said in a post.

An FNPP is a mobile, low-capacity reactor unit operable in remote areas isolated from the main power distribution system, or in places hard to access by land. They are designed to maintain uninterruptible power and plentiful desalinated water supply in remote areas.

The FNPP has a capacity of 70MW and is equipped with two reactors of 35MW each. According to Rosatom, an FNPP’s operational life span is 40 years, with the possibility of being extended up to 50 years.

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