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.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.