Akademik Lomonosov, Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant, has set off from St. Petersburg to Murmansk on its maiden voyage.
After the massive vessel is loaded with nuclear fuel there, it will then be towed to Russia’s Far East where it’s expected to provide power to remote settlements located in the country’s Arctic reaches with its onboard pair of KLT-40S reactors capable of producing up to 70 MW of power and 50 gigacalories of heat per hour.
Several European media outlets, however, focused their attention on the potential risks that the plant might allegedly pose to the environment, citing Greenpeace nuclear expert for central and Eastern Europe Jan Haverkamp.
"Nuclear reactors bobbing around the Arctic Ocean will pose a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment which is already under enormous pressure from climate change," Haverkamp declared, claiming that the vessel’s design makes it vulnerable to tsunamis and cyclones.
Russia’s Rosatom company, a nuclear power plant construction venture that owns Akademik Lomonosov, however, pointed out that Greenpeace didn’t provide any meaningful evidence to back up their claims.
"Greenpeace hasn't presented any meaningful scientific evidence of any unaddressed risks or any shortcomings of the design which is based on a tried and tested technology with an impeccable track-record," the company said, according to the Daily Mail.
Earlier one of Rosatom’s subsidiaries also announced that it was about to present a new brand of disaster-tolerant nuclear fuel, which would reportedly reduce the chances of uncontrolled chain reactions from happening in the reactor's core and would possess increased efficiency in power generation.