Floating Nuclear Plant: Is Russian Energy Ship Safe?
Russia is building a floating nuclear plant, which may be ready by 2016.
The floating nuclear plant will help power remote areas where building a traditional power plant is not feasible. The ship will provide not only energy, but also heat and drinking water to these remote areas. The ship can create 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily.
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Baltic Plant, Russia's largest shipbuilder and the creator of the floating nuclear plant, will call the ship Akademik Lomonosov, the first of a planned fleet of floating nuclear plants. The Akademik Lomonosov will weigh 21,500 tons and be crewed by 69 people. It does not have an engine, so it will be towed from place to place.
The floating nuclear plant's energy source, two modified KLT-40 reactors, can power a city of 200,000 people. The reactors are based on nuclear reactors that are have been used for over half a century on other vessels in Russia.
Baltic Plant insists that the floating nuclear plant is absolutely safe, conforming to International Atomic Energy Agency regulations, and that it's really no different safety-wise than nuclear power plants on land. It can withstand collisions with other vessels and land, and can withstand a tsunami.
Baltic Plant also says that the ship doesn't release hazardous substances while in operation, and that the reactors aboard the floating nuclear plant will be swapped out after 40 years.
The plan for the floating nucelar plant is described as "surprisingly sane" by Gizmodo.
Fifteen countries, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Argentina, have expressed an interest in acquiring floating nuclear plants.
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