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Floating Nuclear Power Station 437

Posted by Zonk
from the my-birthday-is-coming-up dept.
angrysponge writes " Russia to Build World's First Floating Nuclear Power Station for $200,000. I don't know what impresses me more, the engineering chutzpah or low-ball pricetag." From the article: "The mini-station will be located in the White Sea, off the coast of the town of Severodvinsk (in the Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia). It will be moored near the Sevmash plant, which is the main facility of the State Nuclear Shipbuilding Center. The FNPP will be equipped with two power units using KLT-40S reactors. The plant will meet all of Sevmash's energy requirements for just 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt. If necessary, the plant will also be able to supply heat and desalinate seawater."
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Floating Nuclear Power Station

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  • European Water (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots (753724) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:50PM (#13528333) Homepage
    What happens when there is a melt down? You can't stop water from spreading to the rest of the world.

    Funny that I can't find the word "safety" in the whole article.
    • I just hope the company that makes this isn't the same company that makes their submarines.
    • That's for wimps. Floating nuclear power is not for pansy-asses. You wanna know what we do when there's a meltdown? We hop on our jet-ski and ride around the disaster area with our geiger counter buzzing, posting photos to the internet, just like this biker babe [angelfire.com]. Who cares if we all die? At least we'll have floating nuclear power! Face it, if you don't build floating nuclear plants now, then Ralph Nader has already won.
    • by daviqh (906581) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:58PM (#13528690)
      It's the Russians--> they never mess up...
    • Re:European Water (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert@@@gmail...com> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @08:22PM (#13528795)
      God damn it, Nuclear != MELTDOWN OMG RUN FOR YOUR LIVES !!!ONE.

      Its people like you who have no understanding of the state of the technology these days that are holding the world back. There are far more factories producing loads of toxic chemicals in the world then there are nuclear plants, and they typically don't have to have nearly as high standards of safety. I'm not flaming its just that Nuclear power generation technology has progressed a long way since chernobyl.
      • Re:European Water (Score:3, Interesting)

        by quarkscat (697644)
        Your statement would seem to imply that nuclear technology has advanced so far that there are no longer any issues with this power source. AFAIK there is still a problem concerning high level radioactive waste (spent fuel, core, primary cooling system), since some of it has a half-life of 20,000 years.

        Radioactive half-life does NOT mean that in 20,000 years the radiation will automagically disappear -- it only means that just half of the radioactivity will be gone in that time. It might take 10 iterations
    • Re:European Water (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Guppy06 (410832) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @10:30PM (#13529255)
      "What happens when there is a melt down?"

      First off, assuming the reactor is actually capable of melting down (most modern designs aren't), the pile will melt through the bottom of the hull, fall down to the ocean floor, and then melt through that until it is spent. Uranium is quite a bit denser than water.

      Secondly, it's already happened. Decades ago, the Soviets had a nuclear-powered icebreaker that had a meltdown, in the Bearing Sea, if I remember.

      "You can't stop water from spreading to the rest of the world."

      Yes, you can. I can't speak for the particular spot where this reactor will be placed, but there are large swaths of ocean where little or no mixing occurs, due to the influence of ocean and atmospheric currents. The Southern Ocean, for example, is pretty well cut-off from water in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans by circumpolar winds and currents.

      As for vertical mixing (i. e. after the core has sunk to the bottom), this is even easier to accomplish. Except for near convection-causing volcanic vents, deeper water is cold and likes to stay down, and shallower water is warm and likes to stay up. Any sufficiently experienced submariner and many scuba divers can tell you about thermoclines.
    • Re:European Water (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fordiman (689627) * <fordiman AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 11, 2005 @12:26AM (#13529752) Homepage Journal
      The article doesn't quite have it right.

      There are at least fifty unclassified floating nuclear power stations around the world today. They're called Navy aircraft carriers.

      Not to mention the hundered or so location-classified nuclear submarines floating about. Not Boomers, though those are generally nuclear powered as well. Nuclear spy subs, armed with simple chemical warheads.

      (Note: I'm an ex Navy Nuclear Machinist Mate, and my statements are about as authoritative on this as you're going to get on Slashdot)

      There have been no nuclear power accidents on navy vessels. None. And I would not be surprised if the powerstations are of a modified naval design. There are a number of ex navy engineers floating around and while they're not allowed to give away operational secrets (amount of fuel, specific design, etc) to civies, there's no regulation about designing a derivative plant, as long as the important things are changed.

      Which, of course, you'd have to do to change from a nuke drive plant to a nuke amp-only plant. Different torque, heat, pressure requirements.

      "When" there's a meltdown is a misnomer. Anymore, you don't get to put a nuclear design into production with any cutting of the corners (the number one cause of design failure is not building exactly to design). Modern fission plant designs are "Walk-away safe", meaning that the can run, unmanned, until their fuel runs out.

      Additionally, if anything goes out of tolerance - the steam getting too hot, the coolant clogging, a sensor going out, anything - the mediator rods drop and the heavy water is flushed for normal water, then drained (effectively shutting the plant down until it can be "manually" restarted).

      And don't count on some inscrupulous company deciding to surreptitiously cut corners and build under spec; the threat of meltdown on land is too great for any company to take. Threatening it on water is *far* worse, even with the salt in the water.

      Which brings the question of your concern. A large volume of stagnant seawater (about 100 galons per gram of radioactive material for a full-on meltdown) is sufficient to break alpha and beta radiation down to non-dangerous levels in the space of a few years. For alpha, the salts capture the neutrons pretty readily becoming heavy but low-radiation isotopes, while the neutrons' kinetic energy is distributed by the movement of said salt ions (ie: the atoms don't shatter because of the weak lattices formed between salt ions and water ions). Something similar happens with beta radiation, but causing some greater problems; trace amounts of posionous chemicals are produced in the process. Since the actual mass involved is so big to so small, the ppm count is low, but it's still potentially problematic.

      Meanwhile, in the ocean, you don't have stagnant water, you have moving water. Kinda like moving in a pool cools you off more quickly, the motion of the water helps to finish the fallout before it reaches your shores.

      In short: I wouldn't worry about a well-off-shore plant melting down, and even if it did, the fallout would hardly be global. I would, however, want it a few miles away from *my* coast, just in case.
  • First? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by syukton (256348) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:51PM (#13528335)
    I beg to differ. Aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines would be the first...
    • Exactly. Aircraft carriers and submarines have been nuclear powered for ages....and they certainly aren't walking on the ground.
    • You can certainly argue that a nuclear sub has a power station, or even that my car has a power station. However I think this article means "the sort of power station that sits on a grid"

      Not very clear, but with a bit of qualification then their point probably stands.

      Makes me wonder about htat little reactor that powered the US antartic ops.. It was probably on a boat yet did provide power to buildings and research facilities.
      • Which (without having rtfa) is how they are probably doing it. How much less expensive would one of the small aircraft carriers be if you didn't have to worry about armour, weapons, gas storage, ammo storage, flight gear (elevator, etc) and so on? Build an anchor station similar to an oil rig for the boat to dock to, have the Big Cable going from the rig back to shore ...
      • Re:Power Station? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nolife (233813)
        Only two things prevent a navy ship tied to a pier from powering the grid. Procedure and an automatic reverse power trip on the shore power supply breakers. Both are in place to protect the ships own electrical bus and generation equipment. The reactor is not normally running in port and the backup power to shore power consists of diesel engine(s) and the battery. These are very limited and designed only to supply enough to power the ships vital equipment.
        A simple turn 1/4 turn of a single rheostat on t
    • Re:First? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RGRistroph (86936) <rgristroph@gmail.com> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:08PM (#13528426) Homepage
      Actually you are right -- the first civilan nuclear power plant was a dry-docked nuclear sub in Pennsylvania.
    • Re:First? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kcb93x (562075) <kcbnac.bnac@biz> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:08PM (#13528428) Homepage
      Plus, with the sheer low cost ($200,000 for an output 1/50th of that of a normal Russian nuclear power plant...so the cost of these to equal a normal Russian nuclear plant would be $10,000,000) I think that $10 million is less than the cost of a normal nuclear power plant. Perhaps we should look at this design as well, I mean, evalute it for chrissakes!

      We put nuclear power plants to sea all the time. Our aircraft carriers, our submarines, for the most part have gone completely nuclear. Why not, the military uses them. Let's take a look at this. 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt...daaaannnnng.

      Heck, even if we don't use these as permanant plants, how about having a few of them as floaters, for rent to cities/owners of the power grid as needed? Oh, having an excessive heat wave $CITY ? Here, for $x.xx/kilowatt, with a minimum purchase of $XX,XXX, we'll add power to your grid.

      Seriously...let's take a look at this.
      • "Plus, with the sheer low cost ($200,000 for an output 1/50th of that of a normal Russian nuclear power plant...so the cost of these to equal a normal Russian nuclear plant would be $10,000,000) I think that $10 million is less than the cost of a normal nuclear power plant. Perhaps we should look at this design as well, I mean, evalute it for chrissakes!"

        You mean 1/150?

        Add to that, the 200 grand isn't the entire cost. For instance, a quick google of the project reveals that they are paying the Chinese [bellona.no]

  • Hydrogen wells... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by otis wildflower (4889)
    .. Perhaps offshoring plants like this and using them to generate hydrogen + power?

    Eeentaresting...
  • by BewireNomali (618969) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:54PM (#13528352)
    Can you build a cluster of these and feed the electricity into the power grid in instances like the US where our power grid is well developed?
    • What about a Beowulf cluster?
    • One thing this article was not clear on is the magnitude of any fallout. Does anyone have info on the nature and degree of any fallout from this proposed power station should the core be compromised?
      • One thing this article was not clear on is the magnitude of any fallout. Does anyone have info on the nature and degree of any fallout from this proposed power station should the core be compromised?

        There would likely be none, being that "fallout" is radioactive particulate matter precipitating out of the air. You only get that from a) low-altitude atmospheric nuclear warhead detonations, or b) old-school Soviet-type plant design and operation stupidity, i.e. building a graphite moderated core and then tu

    • by bhima (46039) <Bhima.PandavaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:52PM (#13528660) Journal
      You know, I can think of a lot of phrases that go with " US power grid" and none of them sound like "well developed".

      "Run on Win ME" springs to mind, or maybe "Expensive Claptrap" perhaps.

      Oh.. and by the way moving energy around is the single most energy extensive thing done in the US, accounting for over 1/2 of the energy generated. You'd be better off finding a way to generate the energy where you use it.

  • Heh... (Score:2, Funny)

    by fiendo (217830)
    Yeah, I think the U.S. has those too--they're called "nuclear submarines".
    • Don't forget AirCraft carriers. According to Wiki, the Enterprise was the first nuclear powered carrier. According to an article in the Navy Times, current carriers have over 8-12 nuclear power plants on them. Soon to be dropping if they can convert the four screws over to electric propulsion instead of steam. (Currently each screw has it's own small nuclear reactor to create steam for it.)
  • Oh damn... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MagicDude (727944) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:56PM (#13528363)
    Now electricity is being offshored. When's it going to end?
  • Safety (Score:3, Interesting)

    by greening (146061) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @06:57PM (#13528369) Homepage
    Just out of curiousity, what would happen if something big were to happen in the area of the floating power plant (something like Katrina, etc.)?
    • What if an aircraft carrier or submarine was destroyed? Well, it seems that those are taken care of. I think the engineers have somewhat of a brain.
    • Re:Safety (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138)
      Meltdown requires heat, and water forms a pretty effective barrier against nuclear radiation. I'd guess that at the first sign of trouble, you sink the whole thing. It's only 200k, after all.

  • These guys seem to have borrowed some ideas from the latest electronics & software releases. They claim the plants will be operated as a service where russia retains the ownership, control of the plant and the like while the power plant is just hooked up to the grid of the native country. It's also pretty amazing that the cost of this plant is estimated to be $200,000. That's pocket money compared to the sums spent on current stations (although this one does claim to be 'small').
    • Yea, it is awfully amazing that a nuclear power plant is $200,000. You can't even get a shack in Mountain View, CA for $200,000. This has to be to good to be true. Or its not $200,000 USD, but some other measure (there's 28 rubles to the USD, so thats not the case).
  • by VAXGeek (3443) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:00PM (#13528381) Homepage
    they bought the fuel rods on ebay.ru!
  • First? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sanctimonius hypocrt (235536) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:02PM (#13528393) Homepage Journal

    How about the Sturgis [army.mil], a "440-foot-long World War II Liberty ship that the Army converted into a floating 45-megawatt nuclear power plant."

    More about Unique Reactors [doe.gov]

    • 440-foot-long World War II Liberty ship
      They put a reactor on the type of ship that is the textbook example of poor design due to cutting corners? Those ships are famous for cracking in half and sinking.
    • Re:First? (Score:5, Informative)

      by moosesocks (264553) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @08:18PM (#13528772) Homepage
      From the unique reactors [doe.gov] linked to by the parent poster:

      2008: The Floating Reactor (the Severodvinsk Reactor)

      In 2008, if all goes according to plan, the world's first commercial floating nuclear power plant will be ready to begin operation... Pravda, the Russian news publication, reported the project was approved by the head of the Ministry for Nuclear Power, Alexander Rumyantsev. Sevmash Enterprise, which specializes in submarine construction, will build the vessel. Rosenergoatom, the Russian nuclear firm, will supply the reactors. Two such floating power stations are planned, each anticipated to cost $100 to $120 million. The first one will supply power to the city of Severodvinsk, approximately 50 miles west of Archangel.


      Looks like TFA was wrong by several orders of magnitude on this one....
  • $200K??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrazyTalk (662055) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:03PM (#13528397)
    How is that possible? You can't even buy a one bedroom condo for that in a major city! Must be a misprint, or due to government subsidy.
  • by quark101 (865412) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:05PM (#13528404)
    is actually very safe. Because of tremendous advances in both safety and efficiency, nuclear power is actually a very viable alternative to fossil fuels for power generation. However, due to very high profile disasters (ala 3-Mile Island and Chernobyl), the American public is deathly afraid of just the idea. In contrast, I know that France supplies a large part of the power through the use of these more modern generators, and to my knoweledge, there have been no problems.
    • by jfengel (409917) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:12PM (#13528447) Homepage Journal
      Well gosh, we may have made parts of the world unliveable for decades to come in the past, but this time we've got the problem licked. You can trust our figures: we've got a vested interest in selling nuke plants!

      Sorry for the sarcasm; I'd really like to see something replace our fossil fuel dependencies, and I'm even willing to consider the long-term problems that nuke plants saddle us with in exchange for it.

      But many people are deathly afraid of the idea with good reason: when nuke plants fail they fail really, really badly. And the people who are telling us they're safe now told us the same things when they built the first generation of nuke plants.

      So what I'm saying is: I'm willing to be convinced, but it'll take a lot of work.
      • I'm willing to be convinced, but it'll take a lot of work.

        Well, I doubt it, although perhaps I am being overly cynical with respect to you personally.

        My experience is that all that is required for people to rapidly abandon principle is a steep rise in the expense of maintaining that principle. It's amazing how clever people are about talking themselves into a new universal principle when the old one runs up against sheer basic personal need.

        So, let the price of electricity from fossil fuels rise a factor
        • Like the instructor in Heinlein's Starship Troopers said to his class, "Society abides by the morals that it can afford".

          That's from the book: that line didn't make it to the movie.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        nuke plants fail they fail really, really badly

        Really? Compared to what? Large hydroelectric dams?

        How many people were killed at Three Mile Island? ZERO.

        The U.S. nuclear power industry has been operating for over 50 years without ONE fatality to a member of the general public.

        Hydro, coal, and oil cannot say the same.

      • But many people are deathly afraid of the idea with good reason: when nuke plants fail they fail really, really badly. And the people who are telling us they're safe now told us the same things when they built the first generation of nuke plants.

        Search and replace:

        But many people are deathly afraid of the idea with good reason: when airplanes fail they fail really, really badly. And the people who are telling us they're safe now told us the same things when they built the first generation of airplane
    • Most of France's Nuclear Plants are on the German border so that they can sell excess power to Germany and other North Central European countries.
          Plus if the Germans ever invade again, they can just pop out the drain plugs and hop on the TGV to San Tropez.
    • France ... to my knoweledge, there have been no problems
      The incident with liquid sodium killing a few people during decommissioning of a nuclear plant in France got some press at the time.
      • The incident with liquid sodium killing a few people during decommissioning of a nuclear plant in France got some press at the time.

        That would have been Superphoenix [wikipedia.org], the sodium cooled fast breeder reactor. It was an experimental reactor, not a production unit. Besides, no one died in any of the leaks. Compare that to the number of people dying thanks to coal dust every day. Bet you do not see those in the news.

        It is like Stalin said: The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statist

    • is the new fire, we've only recently understood how to avoid being burned.

      The earlier technologies were like playing with matches, the newer stuff like pebble bed reactors are like a small campfire.

      We're getting there, gradually.
    • Declaring something safe isn't enough to make it so. You can reduce the risk of an accident, but can't rule it out completely. When an accident happens ( and it would be incredibly naive of you to suggest that it "just can't happen" ), the impact is devastating.

      Sure, people are aware of the big ones like 3-mile and Chernobyl, but there are thousands of accidents that have already happened. It's quite common, for example, for a reactor to leak a couple of thousands of tons of irratiated water from the plant'
  • Radiation shielding (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Crixus (97721) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:07PM (#13528419) Homepage
    They've obviously opted not to go with that expensive and heavy lead stuff, and use recycled aluminum foil. :-)
  • Floating? (Score:2, Funny)

    by drsquare (530038)
    Obviously they're short of land in Russia...

    • Obviously they're short of land in Russia...

      Hehe, one big benefit I can see is portability - the plant is built in one spot and tugged to its location and, if need be, can be moved to another location. US been talking about reactors like this mounted on trucks for same reason (was on ./ a while back)

      Other benefit is easy acccess to salt water for desalinization, which is another service this plant provides.
    • Troll? Get a sense of humour people...
  • Fitting location (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rxmd (205533) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:12PM (#13528448) Homepage
    Severodvinsk on the White Sea is a major nuclear disaster area. There are a number of nuclear submarine repair sites there. This power plant is probably either a former submarine reactor or built from one.

    My wife's uncle used to serve as chief engineer on Soviet and later Russian nuclear submarines. He still lives near Severodvinsk and says that the overall radiation level at those sites is higher than in Chernobyl. He managed to have two healthy children and asked both of them to study and work somewhere else.
    • if you live with a constantly higher radiation level your body adjusts within a certain range and switches into a mode where it can repair a greater level of constant damage. The real injury occurs when radiation levels suddenly spike without your body having a chance to gradually adapt to it.
  • by Lally Singh (3427) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:21PM (#13528490) Journal
    From: http://www.nuclear.com/n-plants/index-Floating_N-p lants.html [nuclear.com] :

    * A floating nuclear power plant design, under development by OKBM in Russia, uses the KLT-40s reactor system, and involves a "special-purpose non-self-propelled ship" (a barge) intended for operation in a protected water area. There are plans to build a nuclear heat and power generating plant with a floating power-generating unit in the area of Pevek, Chukot Peninsula, in northeastern Siberia, and in Severodvinsk (Archangelsk region). The technical and economic characteristics of this power plant are:
    * Electric power - 60 MW
    * Heat output - 50 Gcal/h
    * Number of reactor systems and main turbogenerators - 2
    * Overall plant lifetime - 40 years

    These power plants are multipurpose in terms of possible applications, since they provide electric power generation while also providing heat supply for various purposes, including seawater desalination.

    [Source: Georgy M. Antonovsky (Chief Specialist, OKBM-the Experimental and Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) et al., Table IV - "Technical and economic characteristics of a floating nuclear power station with the KLT-40s", in "PWR-type reactors developed by OKBM", Nuclear News, March 2002, p. 33]

    * The KLT-40s is based on the KLT-40, which the US DOE has called a proven, commercially available, small PWR system because its design is based entirely on the nuclear steam supply system used in Russian icebreakers. The KLT-40 is a portable, floating, nuclear power plant intended mainly for electric power generation, but it also possesses the capability for desalination or heat production. The reactor core is cooled by forced circulation of pressurized water during normal operation, but in all emergency modes, the design relies mainly on natural convection in the primary and secondary coolant loops.

    The KLT-40 is mounted on a barge, complete with the nuclear reactor, steam turbines, and other support facilities. It is designed to be transported to a remote location and connected to the energy distribution system in a manner similar to the Mobile High Power nuclear power plant operated by the U.S. Army in the 1970s. The designer and supplier of the KLT-40 is the Russian Special Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering (OKBM).

    Fuel for the KLT-40 is a uranium-aluminum metal alloy clad with a zirconium alloy. 200 kg of U-235 gives a core power density of 155 kW per liter on average (that's relatively high for a reactor, according to the DOE report), and the fuel may be high-enriched uranium (U-235 content at or above 20 percent). The fuel assembly structure and manufacturing technology are proven, and its reliability has been verified by the long-term operation of similar cores.

    The KLT-40's primary system involves four coolant pumps feeding four steam generators. The secondary system uses two turbogenerators with condensate pumps, main and standby feed pumps, and two steam condensers. As much as 35 MWt energy can be transferred from the condensers to a desalination plant via an intermediate circuit.

    The KLT-40 includes a steel containment vessel designed to withstand overpressure conditions. A passive-pressure suppression system condenses steam that might escape into the containment building.

    The KLT-40 has a variety of "inherent safety characteristics". One involves the prodigious use of "burnable poison" in the fuel such that cold shutdowns are assured (because any increase in core temperature results in a lowering of core power -- it's what's called having a large negative temperature coefficient for the reactor core).

    The KLT-40 is designed using a plug-and-play philosophy. It gets built at the factory and is able to be transported over water to remote locations. Although the KLT-40 requires refueling every two to three years, the transportability of the entire plant to maintenance centers provides enhanced pro
  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:22PM (#13528498)
    I remember during the "energy crisis" of the early seventies, one of our colleagues at a Navy laboratory that happened to be near a submarine base suggested that we tap into the multi-megawatt output of docked nuclear subs to supply some of our lab's power. Needless to say, the "no nukes" eco-freaks that worked at the lab came unglued. I never knew if he was serious or just trying to get a rise out of people. If the latter, it certainly worked.
  • You laugh, but in the early '70s, the US very nearly built the Atlantic Generating Station, a nuke plant in the shallow waters just off Atlantic City, NJ. The Russians are using a very similar design.
  • I would think that the usa would be all over this project. I don't see how this could be potically good for russia to develop-- if they are just going to sell it off to china as the article suggest. and at $200,000 for a 1/50th the output of a normal Nuclear Powerstation, that is still disturbing. My quetion is, can this thing turn those rods into wepon grade plutonium? Surely, this project is going to be controversial. Also, what are they going to do with the waste. Please don't tell me they are going to d
  • Among other things, fingerprint and iris identification technologies will be used.

    Haven't those guys seen this movie? [imdb.com]
  • While meltdowns are a rather remote danger given todays nuclear power plant designs I worry about waste contamination. There are already plenty of Russian nuclear subs sitting in the ocean. They have cracks, which water gets into, which freezes, which increases the size of the crack. How do they plan to make sure the waste transfers are 300% safe and what happens to this thing if the economy dies again? It's a lot easier to pull a sub on land than a large scale power plant. Think removing oil from the
  • Hot Water (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:33PM (#13528555) Homepage Journal
    Russia spent the last few decades of its Soviet era dumping spent navy nuclear cores into the arctic sea. I've never heard of any accountability for that egregious poisoning of the most productive biome on the planet. So it's clear that they're learning from their successes.

    And any reporter who doesn't realize that a "kilowatt" is a rate of energy over time has zero credibility - they're a PR agent. They're selling nuclear power that's "too cheap to measure", which we all know is the kind of like that sells nukes to people who spend the rest of our lives paying for the construction, security and cleanups.
  • Two comments (Score:2, Interesting)

    by golodh (893453)
    1) Having floating nuclear powerplants is just an extension and continuation of the Russian practice of using the powerplants of moored nuclear submarines to feed the grid. In this case they left out the sub and kept the powerplant ... instant savings.

    2) I feel that there are serious safety and environmental issues with this approach. Unfortunately the typical way of doing things seems to be to blithely ignore risks until they actually materialise (read: until things go wrong).

    2.a) First issue: containment
  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @07:51PM (#13528653)
    Wow who would have thought it:

    "If necessary, the plant will also be able to supply heat and desalinate seawater."

    Presumably supplying heat by, er, going critical and blowing up, desalinating seawater by, er, vaporising it and turning it into an enormous cloud of steam?
  • "Construction could begin in 2006 if the project finds financing" - this means they haven't found money for this project yet.
  • I can just see the evil movie villain attaching his evil super-tow-rope to the station and towing it away with his evil cruise ship!

    Why? So he can hold the world to ransom with his stolen evil floating nuclear power plant!!

  • I've lived in Russia for quite a while, and it's funny how Russians perceive themselves, especially when it comes to the military. Everything is "world's first", everything is said to "have no equal in the world", and everyone believes it, whether or not it's true. So I'd take this "world's first" thing with a three-pound grain of salt if it comes from Russians.

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