Russia launches world’s first floating nuclear reactor into Arctic despite warnings
Despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region, Russia has launched the world’s first floating nuclear reactor – Akademik Lomonosov – across the Arctic. It was loaded with nuclear fuel from the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000km voyage to voyage to Pevek in northeastern Siberia. The reactor’s trip is expected to last between four and six weeks, depending on the weather conditions and the amount of ice on the way. The vessel weighs 21,000 tons and has two reactors with a capacity of 35 megawatts each, close to that of those used by nuclear icebreakers. It has a crew of 69 and travels at a speed of 3.5 to 4.5 knots. However, environmental groups have warned dangers of unprecedented project & dubbed it a potential “Chernobyl on ice” and a “nuclear Titanic”. Though, Russia claims the project will provide clean energy to the remote region and allow authorities to retire an ageing nuclear plant and a coal-burning power station.