Construction of floating nuclear plant begins

Publish date: March 10, 2006

Stanislav Antipov, head of the state Rosenergoatom consortium that oversees Russian nuclear power plants, said Rosenergoatom has drafted a plan to build six or seven floating nuclear reactors to provide electricity to distant Arctic areas.

The first such reactor mounted on a barge is expected to be launched in three years. Sevmash plant is under construction at the Sevmash plant in Arkhangelsk region, he added. In 2003 the estimated cost of the construction was $210m.

The financing issue has not been solved yet. It is known that Rosenergoatom will take part in financing. Besides, there negotiations going on attracting some state financing as well. According to Rosatom, the units floating nuclear power plants will be stationed in the Russian Far East in Kamchatka and Chukotka. The Russian nuclear industry infrastructure will support the plants during from the beginning till the end of operation including dismantling. The personnel will be trained in Obninsk.

The environmental NGOs in Arkhangelsk region in some way approved the construction of the floating nuclear power plant, said the chairman of the Environmental NGOs Association of Arkhangelsk region Sergey Fedorov to Regnum. So, the position of the Arkhangelsk NGOs is different from the majority of the Russian NGOs, which are against nuclear power. Fedorov says the construction of the nuclear plant is not needed in the region but pushed by the Basic Element Company, which intends to establish an aluminium plant with high energy demands in the region. According to Fedorov, all the waste of the dirty aluminium production will be stored in Arkhangelsk region and that is the main disadvantage. “No nuclear plant –no aluminium production…construction of the gas pipeline could improve the environment and reduce energy prices” concluded Sergey Fedorov.