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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Russia’s World-First Floating Nuclear Plant Sets Sail for Arctic


7Dnews London - AFP

Sun, 15 Sep 2019 01:29 GMT

The Rosatom nuclear agency announced on Saturday, September 14th that Russia's world-first floating nuclear power station completed a 5,000-kilometre (3,100-mile) transfer on August 23rd through Arctic waters to reach the Chukotka region, according to AFP.

The plant, known as "Akademik Lomonosov," aims to make the floating station operational by the year-end and to provide energy for around 100,000 people and also power oil platforms as Russia develops extraction of natural resources in a mineral-rich area whose eastern tip is a few dozen kilometres from Alaska.

Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev mentioned in a statement: "It is perhaps a small step towards sustainable development in the Arctic, but it's a giant step towards decarbonisation of remote, off-grid zones and a turning point in the global development of small modular nuclear plants".

The 21-ton, 144-metre (470 feet) long and 30-metre wide platform, which is designed to meet the energy needs of remote communities, was towed into Pevek by a clutch of vessels.

The station houses two 35-megawatt reactors, more in line with the power of nuclear-powered icebreakers than typical new-generation nuclear plants boasting nearer 1,000 MW capacity.

Environmental protection groups, including Greenpeace, have expressed their concerns over potential safety issues, warning of the risk of a "nuclear Titanic" and "Chernobyl on ice" as fears were heightened following an August explosion at a nuclear research facility in Russia's far north which saw local radiation levels briefly spike.