SOURCE. Russian Environmental Digest, November 18-24, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 47. Taken from AFX European Focus, November 19, 2002. More information from http://www.afxnews.com and http://www.afxpress.com
The Russian company "Malaya Energetika" has launched a plan to construct the world's first floating nuclear power plants. The "micro-power plants" will be towed to off-coast locations whence they will provide power and heating for forty years via cables to the mainland.
Work is scheduled to begin in 2003 at the Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk, which normally produces nuclear submarine engines. While the first plant will not be ready for at least five years, three Arctic and Far Eastern regions -- Arkhangelsk, Chukotka, and Kamchatka -- have already declared an interest and signed letters of intent with "Malaya Energetika." Each plant will cost $150m, which is much cheaper than a full-scale nuclear plant.
However, environmentalist groups such as Greenpeace and the Norwegian organization Bellona said the floating plants represent a danger to the environment, and have questioned the project's economic viability, as have several Russian nuclear experts.