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Russia floating nuclear power station sets sail across Arctic via BBC

Russia has launched a pioneering floating nuclear power station, which will sail 5,000km (3,000 miles) from the Arctic port of Murmansk to Chukotka in the far east.

The nuclear agency Rosenergoatom says the Akademik Lomonosov’s mobility will boost the power supply to remote areas.

One of its targets is to power the Chaun-Bilibin mining complex in Chukotka, which includes gold mines.

Greenpeace sees the project as high-risk, in a harsh weather environment.

Critics including Greenpeace point to previous Russian and Soviet nuclear accidents and warn that the Akademik Lomonosov’s mission increases the risk of polluting the Arctic – a remote, sparsely-populated region with no big clean-up facilities.

The launch comes just two weeks after a nuclear-powered engine blew up on a Russian naval test range in the Arctic, killing five nuclear engineers and releasing radiation, though the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was far worse.

[…]

In the period 1968-1976 the US Army used a floating nuclear power plant at the Panama Canal, for canal operations, called the MH-1A Sturgis. It was a converted World War Two cargo ship, and was later decommissioned.

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