Akademik Lomonosov Floating Nuclear Power Plant

Nuclear power is one of the cleanest and least carbon-intensive fuels in the world. A nuclear plant generates just 12 grams of Carbon dioxide (equal to that packed in 3 soda bottles) to generate the same amount which a coal-fired plant would generate by releasing 900 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2).

What is a nuclear power?

  • Nuclear power refers to the use of nuclear reactions which will release nuclear energy that generates heat.
  • The heat is then used to drive massive steam turbines which produce electricity in a nuclear power plant.
  • Nuclear power can be from either of the three nuclear reactions- fission, fusion, and decay.
  • While Fusion and fission are commercial nuclear power generation operations, nuclear decay is a natural phenomenon.
  • However, the spent fuel of nuclear operations is dangerous as it remains radioactive for thousands of years and any leak or contamination from the nuclear plant has the potential to poison the entire area around the nuclear plant.

Why is nuclear power in the news?

  • Russia has declared that it will launch the world’s first floating nuclear power reactor, named Akademik Lomonosov which will leave the port of Murmansk to finally travel to northeastern Siberia.
  • The entire vessel weighs over 21,000 tons and has two nuclear reactors with a power generation capacity of 35 MWs each, similar to the one’s used by nuclear icebreakers.
  • The ground in Siberia is frozen throughout the year and the floating nuclear plant presents an interesting possibility of floating stations of power which can be located offshore, away from the shifting ice.
  • However, environmentalists are concerned about the project’s viability as the Russians plan to store the spent fuel onboard the reactor which would mean any catastrophe would leave a significant trail of destruction.?

 

 

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