Nuclear Power on the High Seas

A Russian manufacturer has announced plans to build a nuclear energy plant on a floating platform near the Bering Sea.

"The manufacturer, known also as O.P.K., told Green Inc. that the first model would be used to help power Viluchinsk, a city on the Kamchatka peninsula that serves as an atomic submarine base.

O.P.K. said similar models could power other cities in northern Russia in the future. But according to nuclear experts, mining companies are likely to use Russian-built floating reactors to power operations to extract oil and gas and valuable minerals from the Arctic and other remote regions."

The manufacturer is citing the plant's mobility and distance from human settlement two if its main benefits.

Full Story: Russians Plan Floating Nuclear Plants




The article calls this the "first" floating nuclear plant, and technically that may be true if you're speaking of a ship with the sole purpose of providing power to shore or other facilities, but several Navies have been using nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers for decades now. I don't understand why the town mentioned that hosts an atomic sub base, can't just use surplus power from the submarines, as long as one is in port at any given time? I'm not against some expansion of nuclear using better modern technology, but the world needs a hint of caution before plunging full-ahead into a new nuclear age. This type of facility poses a serious danger to our oceans because there will be a high temptation to dump waste overboard as is already done with much nuclear waste - like off the coast of Somalia... We need to move beyond treaties covering weapons alone and really start to think through these expansions of nuclear that could pose a very serious danger anywhere on the globe.

Dinosaur Technology

Russia has a long history of building large-scale, inefficient technology, and this sounds llike another example.

New nuclear costs at least 20 cents to 25 cents per kilowatt hour, much more than wind and solar thermal (17 cents or 18 cents).

Charles Siegel

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