Floating Nukes

Floating nukes are about to become a reality.  There are global plans to cite nuclear power plants in the ocean.  Either floating on the surface or moored underneath rather than on land.  It’s a sea change of nuclear innovation that has strong proponents and opponents.

Floating Nukes or Land-Locked Nuclear Power Plants

Floating nuclear power plants are a very real and innovative alternative to land based facilities.  In fact, MIT nuclear engineer Dr. Jacopo Buongiorno believes they would cut the cost of electricity by a third.  He adds, they are safer.  Other nuclear scientists are not as confident.  But this breakthrough nuclear innovation is quickly becoming a reality.  Russia is now launching the first seaborne nuclear power plant.

Nuclear Plant on the Baltic Sea

Russia’s government run nuclear corporation Rosatom just launched the world’s first seafaring nuclear power plant from St. Peterburg in April. It’s now being towed in the Baltic Sea to the port city of Murmansk in Russia’s north.  In Murmansk, it will be loaded with nuclear fuel.  The goal is for it to replace an aging nuclear facility in the Artic port of Pevek.  In all, Russia intends to deploy two nuclear reactors on a barge in the Baltic Sea by 2019.

Nuclear Uproar

Critics call the Russian floating nukes “Chernobyl on Ice”.  They fear what a meltdown at sea could cause.  On the other hand, Rosatom says the facility exceeds any possible threats.  They add their reactors are “invincible to tsunamis and other natural disasters.”  Rosatom forecasts that their seaborne nuclear power plants will power offshore gas and oil platforms, port cities and remote areas.

Enter the Chinese

Russia isn’t alone in this ambitious and innovative endeavor.  China has plans to build up to twenty nuclear reactors in the South China Sea in the next decade.  There is much to be done to test this innovative nuclear floating technology.  But the future of it is now.

For more innovation on the high seas,  see our posts   Also,   

And check out MIT Nuclear Engineering  h



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