Low-Power Nuclear Power Plants in the Context of Electric Power Systems Transformation
Increasing economic importance of the Arctic, further intensification of northern sea routes, and exceptional sensitivity of the arctic natural environment to anthropogenic impacts are fundamental factors for a comprehensive study of environmental aspects in the application of innovative technologies for the development of infrastructure in the Arctic.
Despite the growing interest in low-power nuclear power plants as a distributed generation facility, their possible application in technologically isolated power systems does not lose relevance. The development of both the Arctic and Far Eastern regions of the Russian Federation presents great opportunities and demand for the use of nuclear power sources. Also, development programs for the Russian arctic zone imply a significant increase in the role and number of nuclear power facilities, in other words of potential radiation-hazardous facilities.
Large-scale use of nuclear-powered installations in the Arctic necessitates advanced development of a scientifically grounded and modern forecasting system as well as assessments of threats and risks in case of possible radiation emergencies at nuclear- and radiation-hazardous facilities. Also, the development of proposals for necessary measures to minimize negative consequences of such emergencies is required. This is especially true for the case of compact placement of industrial, infrastructure and residential facilities in the Arctic in the immediate vicinity of nuclear facilities.
The paper demonstrates that the demand for low-power nuclear power plants and their competitiveness will grow steadily in the conditions of electric-power industry decentralization, further spread of distributed generation and the development of technologically isolated power systems. Approaches to the generation of a low nuclear-power system based on the philosophy of industrialization of production and centralized management are presented. Special features of the environmental impact assessment of low-power nuclear power plants for the development of a methodology to study the radio-ecological hazard related problems are provided.
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