MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. The implementation of industrial projects in the Russian Arctic requires reliable energy supplies, which are problematic in the North. Nuclear power plants, including small modular reactors (SMRs), could solve the task, Yakutia’s Governor Aisen Nikolayev said at the Russian Energy Week on Wednesday.
"If we want to implement major industrial projects in the Arctic, in the conditions of lacking electricity and heat supplies, the most safe and cost-effective solution would be nuclear power plants. A small nuclear power plant, which we will build in the Ust-Yansky District, will supply electricity for the industrial development of the Kyuchyus gold ore deposit," he said, adding the plant’s capacity would be less than 55 MWe.
According to him, the region’s 64% of the territory does not have centralized electricity supplies. "Our 143 diesel-fueled power plants supply electricity to settlements. Our electricity expenses in those settlements are above 100 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) from the regional budget only. <…> We use any possibilities to cut the expenses," he added.
In early October, Beloye Zoloto (white gold) - a joint venture of Rostech and the Seligdar poly-metal holding company - won a competition to develop Russia’s biggest deposit of gold - Kyuchyus. The tender’s one of conditions was the development will use SMRs of under 35MWe in Yakutia.
The Kyuchyus deposit is located to the north from the Arctic Circle in Yakutia. Its gold reserves are 175.3 tonnes, and the resource potential is estimated at more than 250 tonnes.