Video: Researchers Float Idea for Offshore Nuclear Plant

At a recent symposium on small modular reactors, a team of researchers presented a design that effectively combines a nuclear plant with elements from an offshore oil platform.

The result is a facility five to seven miles offshore – where earthquakes and tsunamis would not pose a threat – that can draw from an infinite heat sink in emergencies. This video provides a rundown of the plant's basic design, as envisioned by experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin and Chicago Bridge and Iron.

The concept of operating a power reactor from a floating platform is not new. What sets this nuclear plant apart is its use of existing technology from oil and gas equipment tethered to the seafloor. It would be connected to the grid via an underwater transmission line.