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Aleksandr Voznesensky, the general director of the Baltic Plant, Russia’s largest shipbuilders, told reporters that within three years Russia will have produced the world’s first floating nuclear power plant.
The vessel, known as the Akademik Lomonosov, is intended to be the first of many floating nuclear power plants, that Russia will put into mass production and then use to provide energy to remote areas, and to export to other countries around the world.
The 21,500 tonne ships will have a crew of 69, and each carry two KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors which will produce a combined 70MW of electricity, enough to power a small city of 200,000 people.
The general idea of the floating power plants is to provide extra energy to port cities, offshore oil and gas platforms, and large remote industrial facilities. The technology will be based on the same nuclear reactor designs that have powered Russia’s icebreaker ships in the Arctic for over 50 years.
Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker. (WNN)
Russia plan’s to mostly use the floating nuclear plants in the remote northern, and far eastern regions of the country, where energy infrastructure is low, and economic growth has struggled to progress due to the lack of available energy.
Related article: Nuclear Energy Innovation is Vital for Slowing Climate Change
To offer a more attractive prospect for export, demonstrations have shown that the power plants can be modified to act as a desalination plant, providing 240,000 cubic metres of fresh water a day. 15 countries have already voiced their interest in the buying the ships, including; China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Algeria, Namibia, Cape Verde and Argentina. The option to produce water could make these power plants a very good option for dry countries around Africa, and the Middle East.
As with traditional land based nuclear power plants, these will be designed with large safety margins that will exceed the necessary parameters to survive any possible threat, such as tsunamis, or collisions with other ships or rocks.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…