Russian civil nuclear shipping and floating nuclear power plant company Atomflot, part of the State-owned Rosatom nuclear group, has signed a preliminary agreement with mining company GDK Baimskaya to provide four small modular reactors (SMRs) to power the miner’s Baimskaya copper and gold development, World Nuclear News has reported. The project is located at a remote site in the Chukotka region of Russia’s far east arctic. (GDK Baimskaya is a subsidiary of KAZ Minerals, itself part of the Netherlands-domiciled and privately-held Nova Resources BV.)
Baimskaya is reportedly one of the world’s largest minerals, especially copper and gold, deposits. “Thanks to the agreement with Atomflot, it is possible to economically develop the largest Baimskaya field, which is located in a remote area where there is no relevant infrastructure,” said GDK Baimskaya chairperson Oleg Novachuk. (Novachuk hails from Kazakhstan and is also chairperson of KAZ Minerals and one of the members of the Nova Resources consortium that bought out the previously-listed KAZ Minerals and took it private.)
“The agreement with GDK Baimskaya is significant not only for the development of Atomflot, but also for the global market of transportable nuclear power plants of low power,” affirmed Atomflot director-general Mustafa Kashka. The four SMRs will all be RITM-200M units, and they will be mounted in pairs on two barges, which will be moored at Cape Nagloynyn.
The SMRs will provide power for both the Baimskaya project and for a new port to be built at Cape Nagloynyn. Between them, the project and the port will require more than 300 MWe of power. The cost of the electricity that will be generated by the SMRs will be equivalent to $82.42/MWh, in 2020 prices. “The deal for such a volume of electricity was concluded on commercial terms,” stated Kashka.
The first two SMRs should start operation at Cape Nagloynyn early in 2027. The third should come on line in 2028 and the last one at the beginning of 2031. The Baimskaya project is already reliant on nuclear power. Its current, early phase, project facilities are being supplied with electricity by Atomflot’s floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov, moored in the harbour of Pevek. This will also supply the 20 MWe of power that will be needed for the construction of the mine.