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Winter fog over Bilibino
Winter fog over Bilibino
Coat of arms of Bilibino and Bilibinsky District
Location of Bilibino
Bilibino is located in Russia
Location of Bilibino
Bilibino is located in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Bilibino (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug)
Coordinates: 68°03′N 166°27′E / 68.050°N 166.450°E / 68.050; 166.450Coordinates: 68°03′N 166°27′E / 68.050°N 166.450°E / 68.050; 166.450
Federal subjectChukotka Autonomous Okrug[1]
Administrative districtBilibinsky District[1]
FoundedMarch 1955[2]
Town status sinceJune 28, 1993[2]
 • Head[3]Svetlana Tolstaya[3]
 • Total22.15 km2 (8.55 sq mi)
274 m (899 ft)
 • Total5,506
 • Estimate 
5,292 (−3.9%)
 • Density248/km2 (640/sq mi)
 • Capital ofBilibinsky District[1]
 • Municipal districtBilibinsky Municipal District[6]
 • Urban settlementBilibino Urban Settlement[6]
 • Capital ofBilibinsky Municipal District[6], Bilibino Urban Settlement[6]
Time zoneUTC+12 (MSK+9 Edit this on Wikidata[7])
Postal code(s)[8]
Dialing code(s)+7 42738
OKTMO ID77609101001

Bilibino (Russian: Били́бино) is a town and the administrative center of Bilibinsky District in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia. It is located 625 kilometers (388 mi) northwest of Anadyr, the administrative center of the autonomous okrug. With a population of 5,506 as of the 2010 Census, and an estimated population as of 1 January 2015 of 5,592, it is the second largest town in the autonomous okrug after Anadyr.[4]


Aerial view of Bilibino

The town of Bilibino was built at the confluence of the Karalveyem and Bolshoy Keperveyem Rivers (Kolyma's basin).

Bilibino is on the transition zone between the conifer forest and the tundra of the East Siberian Mountains, southeast of the Pyrkanay Range (Горы Пырканай), southwest of the Rauchuan Range (Раучуанский хребет) and north of the Kyrganay Range and the Chuvan Mountains.[9]


As with much of the rest of Chukotka, the earliest human remains found in the region around Bilibino have been dated to the Early Neolithic, with camp sites having been excavated at Orlovka 2, a site on the banks of the Orlovka River, as well as at Lakes Tytyl and Ilirney.[10]

Interest in the area around the present day site of the town began in the 1920s when prospectors including Soviet geologist Yuri Bilibin (1901—1952) discovered gold in the region and began to make assessments regarding the commercial viability of its extraction.[11] In March 1955, gold mining operations commenced and the construction of a settlement started,[2] though at this stage it was little more than a collection of geologists' and prospectors' tents, who had originally been based in Seymchan.[11] Because of his discovery of gold in the region, particularly within the vicinity of the Bolshoy Anyuy and Maly Anyuy Rivers, the geologists named the new settlement after Yury Bilibin, and the new name was officially adopted in February 1956.[2] On September 6, 1958, Bilibino was granted urban-type settlement status.[2]

Bilibino's development intensified in the early 1960s when it was joined to the Pevek power grid. On August 2, 1961, Bilibino became the administrative center of the Eastern Tundra District (Rayon Vostochnoy Tundry) which was renamed Bilibino District (Bilibinsky Rayon) on the occasion.[2] In 1965, the Soviet government decided to build the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant.[11] The construction aided by several hundred volunteers from the Komsomol organization was completed in 1974; by 1976 three additional reactors were put into operation.[12] Town status was granted to Bilibino on June 28, 1993.[2]

Administrative and municipal status[edit]

Within the framework of administrative divisions, Bilibino serves as the administrative center of Bilibinsky District,[1] to which it is directly subordinated.[13] As a municipal division, the town of Bilibino is, together with the selo of Keperveyem, incorporated within Bilibinsky Municipal District as Bilibino Urban Settlement.[6]


The town is home to the world's northernmost[14] nuclear power plant, the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant, which opened in January 1974.[12] It is the only nuclear power plant in the Russian Far East[1] and has four reactors, each with an output of 12 MWe.[12] The plant will be progressively shut down and decommissioned, and will be replaced by the Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear power plant.[15] The first reactor was shut down at the end of 2018.[15]

The nearest operating gold mine is located 20 kilometers (12 mi) west of the town.[2]


The region where Bilibino is located has virtually no roads that are usable year-round; even a trip from the Keperveyem Airport to Bilibino town requires a 33-kilometer (21 mi) journey along an unpaved road.[10] There is also an unpaved road to the seaport of Zelyony Mys on the Kolyma River near Chersky in the Sakha Republic (around 250 km). Heavier transports use this road. There is a winter-only ice road between Pevek and Bilibino.


In a typical development for the post-Soviet era in the Russian Far East, Bilibino's population dropped significantly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. During the 1989 Soviet Census, the population of Bilibino was 15,558;[16] it fell to 6,181 in the 2002 Census[17] and further down to 5,506 in the 2010 Russian Census.[4] As of January 2010, the ethnic make up of the town was mostly Russians (71%) and Ukrainians (15%); Chukchi people and Evens accounted for 6% and 3%, correspondingly; with all other ethnicities accounting for less than 1% each.[citation needed]


Bilibino has a subarctic climate (Dfc) according to the Köppen climate classification.[18] Summers are short and cool with chilly nights, while winters are long, dry and bitterly cold.

Climate data for Bilibino
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 3.8
Average high °C (°F) −29.4
Daily mean °C (°F) −32.3
Average low °C (°F) −35.1
Record low °C (°F) −49.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11
Source: [19]



  1. ^ a b c d e Law #33-OZ
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Official website of Bilibinsky District. General Description of the Town of Bilibino Archived March 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  3. ^ a b Official website of Bilibinsky District. About the District. Urban and Rural Settlements (in Russian)
  4. ^ a b c Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  5. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e Law #43-OZ
  7. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  9. ^ Чуванайские горы, National atlas of Russia
  10. ^ a b Petit Fute. Chukotka, p. 100
  11. ^ a b c Petit Fute. Chukotka, pp. 102f
  12. ^ a b c Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). Nuclear Transparency in the Asia Pacific. Bilibino Power Station Archived July 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Directive #517-rp
  14. ^ Nuttall, Mark (September 23, 2005). Encyclopedia of the Arctic. Routledge. p. 241. ISBN 1-57958-436-5.
  15. ^ a b "Russia's Bilibino 2 licensed to operate until 2025 – Nuclear Engineering International". Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  16. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  17. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  18. ^ McKnight and Hess, pp. 232–235
  19. ^ "Climate: Bilibino". Retrieved April 10, 2014.


  • Дума Чукотского автономного округа. Закон №33-ОЗ от 30 июня 1998 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Чукотского автономного округа», в ред. Закона №55-ОЗ от 9 июня 2012 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Чукотского автономного округа "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Чукотского автономного округа"». Вступил в силу по истечении десяти дней со дня его официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Ведомости", №7 (28), 14 мая 1999 г. (Duma of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. Law #33-OZ of June 30, 1998 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, as amended by the Law #55-OZ of June 9, 2012 On Amending the Law of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug "On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug". Effective as of after ten days from the day of the official publication.).
  • Правительство Чукотского автономного округа. Распоряжение №517-рп от 30 декабря 2008 г. «Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных и территориальных образований Чукотского автономного округа», в ред. Распоряжения №323-рп от 27 июня 2011 г. «О внесении изменений в Распоряжение Правительства Чукотского автономного округа от 30 декабря 2008 года №517-рп». Опубликован: База данных "Консультант-плюс". (Government of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. Directive #517-rp of December 30, 2008 On the Adoption of the Registry of the Administrative-Territorial and Territorial Formations of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, as amended by the Directive #323-rp of June 27, 2011 On Amending the Government of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug Directive No. 517-rp of December 30, 2008. ).
  • Дума Чукотского автономного округа. Закон №43-ОЗ от 29 ноября 2004 г. «О статусе, границах и административных центрах муниципальных образований на территории Билибинского района Чукотского автономного округа», в ред. Закона №88-ОЗ от 20 октября 2010 г «О преобразовании путём объединения поселений на территории Билибинского муниципального района и внесении изменений в Закон Чукотского автономного округа "О статусе, границах и административных центрах муниципальных образований на территории Билибинского района Чукотского автономного округа"». Вступил в силу через десять дней со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Ведомости", №31/1 (178/1), 10 декабря 2004 г. (Duma of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. Law #43-OZ of November 29, 2004 On the Status, Borders, and Administrative Centers of the Municipal Formations on the Territory of Bilibinsky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, as amended by the Law #88-OZ of October 20, 2010 On the Transformation (Merger) of the Settlements on the Territory of Bilibinsky Municipal District and Amending the Law of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug "On the Status, Borders, and Administrative Centers of the Municipal Formations on the Territory of Bilibinsky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug". Effective as of the day ten days after the official publication date.).
  • Petit Fute. Chukotka.
  • McKnight, Tom L; Hess, Darrel (2000). "Climate Zones and Types". Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-020263-0.

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