30 June 2010, 18:20

Floating Nuclear Power Station – cheaper energy source

Floating Nuclear Power Station – cheaper energy source
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Russia has successfully implemented a project to build a floating nuclear power station. On Wednesday, a floating power plant was launched at the Baltic Shipyard.

Russia has successfully implemented a project to build a floating nuclear power station. On Wednesday, a floating power plant was launched at the Baltic Shipyard. It will be the basic element of the world’s first floating nuclear power station, “Academician Lomonosov”.

Russia may use new reactors or nuclear reactors designed for icebreakers, says Alexander Berenzon, an official for the Afrikantov Engineering Design Bureau that builds reactors and supplies them.                      

“A state-of-the-art reactor, which is based on time-tested developments in nuclear–powered shipbuilding area, has been installed in the station," says Alexander Berenzon. “These reactors have functioned flawlessly on icebreakers for about 50 years. In fact, Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet is the only such fleet in the world. This tested technology will be used in the new project of the first floating nuclear power station, “Academician Lomonosov.”

The floating power station will produce electricity, heat or make fresh water. Russian and foreign companies have shown interest in the power plant and wish to see a working model, which is displayed at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg.                     

“The advantage of such power station is that it can be towed to any destination point in coastal waters,” says Alexander Berenzon. “These places could be in the Russian Far North or Far East or in any country that experiences a shortage of either fresh water or electricity.”  

A floating nuclear power station is much cheaper than a ground station, and the customer gets a power plant that is ready for use. The price of electricity produced by it is 2 to 3 times cheaper than that of a ground station since the customer will have to build electrical substations and safety facilities only. The power station is scrapped at a specialized facility after the expiration of operating life. In short, floating nuclear power stations are ecologically safe. All nuclear energy sources meet the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.   

70 megawatt of electricity or 300 MW of heat is sufficient for a city with a population of 350 thousand people. A 6 MW station can supply electricity to a small settlement.    

The new floating power station is a non-self propelled vessel with a length of 144 meters and width of 30 meters. It has a displacement of 21,500 tonnes. The vessel has two reactors, each with 35 MW capacity. The working life span of the power station is 38 years.

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