Russia to launch floating nuclear power plant in 2016

The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 put the world on notice that putting nuclear power plants in areas prone to natural disasters can result in even greater disasters. However, a new plan emerging from Russia to create the world's first floating nuclear power plant may be upping the ante in terms of ecologically perilous ideas.

Dubbed the Akademik Lomonosov, the massive ship will be the first in what will be a fleet of floating nuclear plants launched by Russia. The ships will generate enough power to serve a small city of 200,000 people, providing up to 70 megawatts of electricity or 300 megawatts of heat. But rather than target the technology toward the general public, the initial rollout is meant to serve remote port cities, offshore oil rigs, and large industrial concerns.

Interestingly, the ship will not have the ability to travel on its own, requiring a towing boat to move from place to place. According to a report in Russia Today, officials claim that the ship is safe from threats such as tsunamis, but we've heard that before in the case of Fukushima, so such claims may offer little comfort to the project's critics.

Although the ship would be the first of its kind, limited to Russian waters, other countries including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Algeria, Namibia, Cape Verde, and Argentina have expressed interest in using the technology. The Akademik Lomonosov is slated to begin operation by 2016.

Via Russia Today

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