Tsunami-Proof ‘Floating Chernobyl’: Here’s Why This Russian Nuclear Power Plant Freaks People Out

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The first nuclear power plant of its kind, according to Russian officials, is now making its way toward its final destination at an Arctic port. Keep on reading Nexter.org to know more about it and why many critics have called the plant ‘floating Chernobyl.’

russia-nuclear-power-plant-photo

Source: ALEXANDER GALPERIN / SPUTNIK VIA AP

Nuclear Titanic

Russia has launched the first of its new floating nuclear power plants, called the Akademik Lomonosov, to Murmansk, where it will receive the nuclear fuel for its two reactors and then will reach its final destination at an Arctic port.

The Lomonosov left the Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg on April 28, 2018 after nine years of building.

From there, the power plant will be pulled to a mooring berth in the Arctic port of Pevek, in far northeast Russia. There, it will be wired into the infrastructure so it can replace an existing nuclear power installment on land.

russia-nuclear-power-plant-photo

Source: Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

Is it dangerous?

Critics of the plan including Greenpeace, which recently warned of a “Chernobyl on ice” if Russia’s plans to create a fleet of floating nuclear power stations result in a catastrophe.

Some say that pretty much the worst thing you can do to a nuclear reactor is expose it to the high waves and fierce winds of the Arctic Ocean. Jan Haverkamp, a nuclear expert for Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe, called it a “shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment.”

The Lomonosov was already called “Nuclear Titanic”.

“The floating energy plant has incorporated all the best qualities of traditional nuclear plants,” Vitaly Trunev, the head of Rosenergoatom, a nuclear power station subsidiary of Rosatom, told Reuters during the launch, addressing the most obvious question. “It is protected from all kinds of natural and technical harms.”

russia-nuclear-power-plant-photo

Source: rosatom

Also, 11,000 people have signed a petition hoping to cancel the launch of the nuclear plant but it failed.

However, there are people who believe it could be really safe and the panic around it is just a hype. Not many know, that nuclear reactors go to sea since 1955, when the submarine USS Nautilus took its first voyage. In fact, the US Navy has more than 80 nuclear-powered warships, including aircraft carriers and submarines, according to a 2015 report by an independent task force with the Federation of American Scientists. Russia, too, has a nuclear-powered fleet that includes icebreakers, which are designed to plow through ice with nuclear reactors on board.

Anyway, the time will show us who was right, while Nexter.org hopes critics were wrong and it won’t turn a disaster.


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Tsunami-Proof ‘Floating Chernobyl’: Here's Why This Russian Nuclear Power Plant Freaks People Out
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Tsunami-Proof ‘Floating Chernobyl’: Here's Why This Russian Nuclear Power Plant Freaks People Out
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The first nuclear power plant of its kind, according to Russian officials, is now making its way toward its final destination at an Arctic port. Keep on reading Nexter.org to know more about it and why many critics have called the plant 'floating Chernobyl.'
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