FLOATING NUKE STATION
The world’s first floating nuclear reactor has been launched in Russia, bound for the Arctic.
The 21,500-tonne Akademik Lomonosov – equipped with two nuclear reactors – is headed to the port town of Pevek where it will power the town and oil rigs when its reactor shuts down next year.
The 144m behemoth has a crew of 69 and provides 70 megawatts of electricity. It will eliminate the need for about 45,000 tons of fuel or diesel oil, says its manufacturer, OKBM Afrikantov.
Greenpeace has condemned the project as a ‘floating Chernobyl’ and ‘nuclear Titanic’, but the ship’s owner Rosatom says the design is considered very effective for generating electricity in remote areas and can be moved on if not required or be used to power desalination plants.
Russia has at least another seven floating nuclear reactors planned and China is working on building its own for launching in 2020.
Countries such as Algeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Argentina have shown interest in hiring the ships.