After decades of planning and delays, Russia will have its first floating nuclear power station, “Akademik Lomonosov”, ready next year, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Tuesday, TASS reports.
Rogozin visited Baltic shipyard in Saint Petersburg in March, and was told that the plant is 85 percent ready, and that construction is going according to plan, the shipyard’s web site reads.
Watch video from the construction on Rossiya24 (in Russian)
“It is in fact a nuclear reactor that can be docked to coastal infrastructure, and it will provide energy through a cable to any Arctic city,” said Rogozin, who oversees Russia’s activities in the Arctic.
The floating power station will be used to power port cities, industrial infrastructure, and oil and gas drilling rigs and refineries. The non-self-propelled vessel will have a length of 144 meters and will be operated by a crew of 69 people. Its two reactors will be able to produce up to 70 megawatts of electricity. The draught is less than six meters, making it possible to move the barge into quite shallow waters and rivers. The reactors are supposed to have a lifespan of 40 years.
According to Rossiya24, the first power station will be placed in the town of Pevek in Chukotka. Yamal peninsula has also been mentioned in Russian media as the first destination.
The world’s first floating nuclear station was launched in the United States in the 1960ies, but Russia will be the first to put this type of vessels in serial production. Russia has earlier announced that “Akademik Lomonosov” is the first of a total of eight floating nuclear power plants that will be built.
Construction of “Akademik Lomonosov” started in 2007 at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. In August 2008 construction works were transferred to the Baltic shipyard in Saint Petersburg, allegedly because of the many orders for military vessels Sevmash had.
Environmental groups are concerned that floating stations will be more vulnerable to accidents and terrorism than land-based stations.