Russia's "floating Chernobyl" nuclear power plant has just set sail


Russia's "floating Chernobyl" nuclear power plant has just set sail

A floating nuclear power plant, the world's first, built in Russian Federation has embarked on its first sea voyage so its reactors can be loaded with fuel.

"The pier, hydraulic engineering structures, and other buildings, crucial for the mooring of [the floating power plant] will be ready to use upon Akademik Lomonosov arrival", said Rosatom in a press release.

It is to be towed through the Baltic Sea and around the northern tip of Norway to Murmansk, where its reactors are to be loaded with nuclear fuel.

But the first voyage of the Academik Lomonosov, has environmentalists and critics calling it a "nuclear Titanic" that poses a danger, no matter where it finally sets down anchor. There it will power a port town, oil rigs and a desalination plant.

"It is a significant milestone for our project as well as for the world nuclear industry". However, due to pressure from the Baltic states and a successful petition organised by Greenpeace Russia, Rosatom, the state-controlled nuclear giant that owns and operates the floating nuclear power plant, decided on 21 July 2017 to move loading and testing to Murmansk.

An FNPP is basically a mobile, low-capacity reactor unit operable in remote areas isolated from the main power distribution system, or in places hard to access by land.

"Greenpeace hasn't presented any meaningful scientific evidence of any unaddressed risks or any shortcomings of the design which is based on a tried and tested technology with an impeccable track-record", the company said, according to the Daily Mail.

Several European media outlets, however, focused their attention on the potential risks that the plant might allegedly pose to the environment, citing Greenpeace nuclear expert for central and Eastern Europe Jan Haverkamp.

According to Russian media, Rosatom is now planning a production line, which will be capable of mass producing floating nuclear reactors.

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