Chugging along at an average speed of 3.5 knots, the world's only floating nuclear power plant, Akademik Lomonosov, made it to the northern Russian port of Murmansk on May 17 after a three-week tow from St. Petersburg, where the 144-meters long ship was constructed, Rosatom said.
Once in Murmansk, the ship's builder, the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard, formally handed the plant over to its owner, Rosatom subsidiary Rosenergoatom, in a ceremony attended by Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov, Deputy Director Alexander Lokshin and Atomflot Director General Vyacheslav Ruksha, as well as regional government officials.
The floating reactor is “an unparalleled piece of engineering,” the World Nuclear News quoted Likhachov as saying. “We have successfully towed the power unit, not yet loaded with fuel, to Murmansk and are hear going to launch this unique project,” he said.
The reactors will be loaded with fuel in the upcoming months. After that, the facility will be towed to the port of Pevek, where it will be activated as a replacement for the Bilibino nuclear power plant, which is closing down in 2021.
The Bilibino plant is currently the most northern nuclear power plant. That status will be taken over by the floating plant that contains two 35 MWe KLT-40S model reactors.
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Who remembers Westinghouse floated this idea in the early 1970’s?