Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Power Station

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Measuring 474 feet in length and weighing 21,500 metric tons, Russia’s recently launched Akademik Lomonosov is a floating nuclear power plant. The platform is fitted with two nuclear reactors and is capable of producing 70 megawatts of electric power.

Akademik Lomonosov was built by Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and launched in late April. The barge-like vessel is designed to be towed or pushed to remote towns and small cities that have limited ability to generate electricity. Akademik Lomonosov today is about 30 percent through a multi-leg journey on its way to Pevek in Eastern Russia, about 53 miles across the Bering Strait from Alaska.

According to an article in Popular Mechanics magazine, the vessel currently is berthed in Murmansk, Russia, where it is being loaded with nuclear fuel. Environmental watchdog groups, such as Greenpeace, worry that any number of things could go wrong with the vessel — either in transit or on station — and cause a nuclear disaster like the ones in Chernobyl, Russia, or Fukishima, Japan. The vessel is expected to go online sometime next year.

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