Africa has seen a growing interest in the development of civil nuclear programmes across the continent.
Compared to renewable sources of energy, which are dependable on weather conditions, nuclear power supply is consistently regular and dependable.
Nuclear power plants (NPP) are also cheaper to run than their coal or gas counterparts, even when spent nuclear fuel management and disposal are factored in.
“We are working hard to highlight the true potential of nuclear power 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,” says Ryan Collyer, acting CEO Rosatom Central and Southern Africa.
Small modular reactors (SMRs) offer unique benefits, including easy grid connection, flexibility in terms of placement, multipurpose application, and possible integration with renewables.
SMRs are also a good alternative to diesel generators as they provide reliable power supply and prevent harmful emissions, at a competitive price. In terms of deployment, SMRs offer lower capital investment – an important factor for many African countries.
“Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, has never been viewed as a robust market for nuclear power.
However, with the emergence of small modular reactors technology, nuclear increases its chances of being considered as a feasible option to address regional energy needs in a low carbon and stable energy generation, with predictable costs,” says Collyer.
Rosatom is currently working on the optimised version of the floating nuclear power plant, based on RITM series reactors.
In May 2020, the Russian nuclear state corporation commissioned its first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov with two KLT-40 reactors that produce up to 77 MW of electricity.
FNPP Akademik Lomonosov is the northernmost nuclear power plant in the world that provides electricity to the isolated Chaun-Bilibino network in Pevek, Chukotka, Russia’s Far East.