'Akademik Lomonosov' shipborn is World’s first floating nuclear power plant sets sail in Russia
- published: 29 Apr 2018
- views: 4875
The world\'s first floating nuclear reactor set sail on its maiden voyage from Russia bound for the Arctic far east. Akademik Lomonosov was on Saturday towed out of St Petersburg harbour where it was built, equipped with two nuclear reactors. The 21,500-tonne ship will be pulled through the Baltic sea and around the tip of Norway to Murmansk, a city of 300,000, to be loaded with fuel. From there it will continue on to Chukotka, over the straight from Alaska, to power the port town of Pevek and oil rigs when their reactor shuts down in 2019. The £70 million behemoth is 144m long 30m wide and 10m high, needs a crew of 69 to operate it, and provides 70 megawatts of electricity or 300 of heat. About 45,000 tons of fuel or diesel oil will not have to be used as a result of the plant, according to its manufacturer OKBM Afrikantov. The project is controversial for its potential environmental impacts with Greenpeace denouncing it as a \'floating Chernobyl\' and \'nuclear Titanic\'. \'Nuclear reactors bobbing around the Arctic Ocean will pose a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment which is already under enormous pressure from climate change,\' nuclear expert Jan Haverkamp said. \'The flat-bottomed hull and the floating nuclear power plant\'s lack of self-propulsion makes it particularly vulnerable to tsunamis and cyclones.\' Russia has at least another seven floating nuclear reactors planned and China is working on building its own to launch in 2020. Other countries like Algeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Argentina have shown interest in hiring ships that could become a...