Nuclear power plants go afloat

Publish date: June 9, 2000

The design of a floating nuclear power plant was approved at the meeting of the Science-Technical Council of the Russian Nuclear Ministry. The company Rosenergoatom, probably overloaded with cash, ordered the project.

On May 26, 2000, the Science-Technical Council of the Russian Nuclear Ministry examined and approved the technical project of nuclear installation KLT-40C to use on the floating nuclear power installation in the town of Pevek.

This project had been developed between 1995 and 1998 by request of the Russian government in consent with the requirements of the federal norms and rules of nuclear energy usage as well as the Russian Maritime Register.

One of the subdivisions of Rosenergoatom, the state operator of Russian nuclear power plants, contracted agencies to scatch the project.

The Science-Technical Council concluded:

– to approve the technical project of nuclear power unit KLT-40C on the floating nuclear installation and recommend it for approval;

– to consider the technical project of a low-capacity nuclear power plant with nuclear installation KLT-40C expedient;

– taking into consideration the promising market of floating low-capacity nuclear power plants, to develop new nuclear power installation with different characteristics on a tender basis.

Environmental groups against floating nuclear power plant

Earlier this year, the Centre of Environmental Policy of Russia and Greenpeace published a report about the expediency of the floating plant construction. The main conclusion is that floating nuclear power plants are dangerous and unacceptable from the environmental point of view as well as not profitable. Proliferation of such plants will result in the dramatic increase of the possibilities for obtaining fissile materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons, which would undermine non-proliferation efforts. Floating nuclear power plants scattered around the world would increase possibilities for international nuclear blackmailing and terrorism. Due to these facts the authors of the report suggest taking measures to stop such plans of the Russian Nuclear Ministry.