Science News

The world’s first floating nuclear power plant starts traveling to the Arctic

The first floating nuclear reactor in the world, built by Russia, began its journey in the Arctic Sea on Friday amid the growing concern of environmentalists who have already called this sort of floating nuclear power plant the “Chernobyl on the ice” or the “Titanic nuclear.”

This floating nuclear power plant, named Akademik Lomonosov, began its journey through the Arctic with its cargo of nuclear fuel. It left the port of Murmansk and made his way into the sea, among the ice, starting a journey of more than 3000 miles to reach Pevek, a city located in the Siberian region of Chukotka.

Here it should replace a fixed nuclear power plant that will soon be closed down and a coal-fired power plant that has been closed for some time. Its job will mainly be to supply energy to the oil platforms in the Arctic. According to the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, this is the best solution to build a nuclear power plant in the Arctic area of ​​the country.

In this region, in fact, consisting essentially of isolated places with almost always frozen ground, a “classic” power plant would not be very simple to build. The new nuclear power plant will help Russia in “carrying out large infrastructure projects,” as declared by the agency itself.

Statements that have certainly not dampened the complaints launched by environmental groups that fear for the Arctic environment, already put to the test in recent years due to the melting of ice and global warming. A nuclear accident on this floating platform would cause a radioactive wave and according to environmentalists themselves, such a power plant would be more vulnerable to atmospheric agents, particularly storms.

“A floating nuclear power plant is too risky and too expensive to produce electricity,” Rashid Alimov, a Greenpeace representative in Russia, told AFP.