Innovative Solutions for Remote Electricity-Hungry Regions of Africa


Reliable and affordable energy solutions require a mix of sources from renewables to nuclear, which may include inland and offshore small modular reactor solutions

Speaking during a PowerGen track at the African Utility Week conference, Dmitry Shornikov, CEO of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa highlighted the reliability and versatility of small modular nuclear power plants as part of a balanced energy mix.

Access to stable and affordable electricity happens to be one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to Africa’s sustainable economic growth. Each country needs to evaluate and utilize all energy sources that it has at its immediate disposal and strive for a balanced energy mix that will both support its industrial and socio-economic ambitions but at the same time inflict the least damage on to the environment.

During the discussion Shornikov emphasized Rosatom’s willingness to work with both utilities and private companies to achieve this goal, using several innovative solutions. “One of our latest and most exciting solutions is a floating nuclear power plant (FNPP). The first plant, fondly named “Akademik Lomonosov” after famous Russian polymath, scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov, is a unique and pioneering solution in the area of small modular reactors. At the end of April, it underwent a series of successful and comprehensive tests, including on its twin KLT-40 reactor system. Akademik Lomonosov will be ready to start commercial operation on the shore of the Arctic Ocean in the Far East region of Russia in December 2019.”

Akademik Lomonosov has a capacity of 77 MW, which is sufficient to satisfy the electricity needs of a city with a population of about 200 thousand people. Due to its mobility, FNPP’s offer an excellent solution for power supply in remote and poorly accessible costal territories. The versatile FNPP has numerous other applications such as heat generation and desalination depending on the needs and location of the region.

Based on the same technology as Akademik Lomonosov’s reactor unit, Rosatom also offers land-based small modular reactors known as RITM-200. A modular approach allows for easier and more cost effective electrical capacity expansion, as additional reactor units and turbine equipment are able to utilize existing auxiliary infrastructure.

Shornikov concluded by highlighting that nuclear power is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly source of base load power that is always available. “A modern nuclear power plant (NPP) is able to supply uninterrupted power for 60 years at a predictable and affordable price, which is not drastically effected by the volatility of the global commodity market. At the same time, nuclear energy is a key component of a clean and sustainable energy strategy, as it emits no CO2 into the atmosphere.”

About Rosatom

ROSATOM is the only company in the world to offer integrated clean energy solutions across the nuclear supply chain and beyond, including the design, construction and operation of nuclear power stations, uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, the supply of nuclear fuel, decommissioning, spent fuel storage and transportation and safe nuclear waste disposal. With seventy years’ continuous experience, the company is the world leader in high-performance solutions for all kinds of nuclear power plants. It is also working in the segments of wind generation, nuclear medicine, energy storage and other.

Headquartered in Moscow, the company brings together over 300 enterprises and organizations and over 250,000 employees. Globally, the company has the second biggest uranium reserves, has 40% of the world’s enrichment market and is the world’s biggest builder of the latest generation nuclear power stations and US$133 billion 10-years export order book.