10 Jul 2009:
Floating Nuclear Plant
To Be Built By Russians in Far East
A Russian company has announced that it will build the world’s first floating nuclear plant
, opening up the possibility that the Russians could use such reactors to power operations to extract oil and minerals in remote regions of the Arctic. Russia’s United Industrial Corporation said its floating reactor will go into operation in 2012 off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East and will be used to help power Vilyuchinsk, a small city that serves as an atomic submarine base. The 472-foot plant will be built in the shape of a ship, will accommodate two 35-megawatt reactors, and will cost $316 million to construct, United Industrial said. Nuclear power experts said that such floating reactors could be used to supply power to extractive industries in the Arctic as sea ice melts and Russia moves in to exploit oil, natural gas, and minerals. But putting reactors at sea, particularly in such an environmentally sensitive area as the Arctic, raises concerns about safety in extreme weather, disposal of radioactive waste produced by the reactors, and vulnerability to terrorism.
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.