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[cdn-nucl-l] Russia to Create World's First Floating Nuclear Power Plant
Posted in Pravda Online on October 30, 2002 and at:
A few things lost in the translation. Interesting, I believe the figure
for US nuclear power contribution is actually only 20-23%...
I believe the quotes relating to mortality due to coal burning is from
Alex Gabbard of ORNL "Coal Combustion: Nuclear Resources or Danger" at:
Well worth a read.
Russia to Create World's First Floating Nuclear Power Plant
Will floating nuclear power plants become the targets of terrorists?
The head of the Ministry for Nuclear Power, Alexander Rumyantsev,
approved of the technical project of a vessel to be equipped with
nuclear power generators for an electric power plant of low capacity.
The world's first floating nuclear power plant will be constructed in
the city of Severodvinsk (the Arkhangelsk region). It will be finished
by the 2008. Sevmash Enterprise, which specializes in the construction
of military submarines, will build a special vessel for the floating
nuclear power plant. The vessel will be equipped with a power-generating
unit with a capacity of 70 Megawatts per hour. The Russian nuclear giant
Rosenergoatom is going to build no less than two floating nuclear power
plants for the Arkhangelsk region. Each will cost $100-120 million.
The project has been approved of by the independent ecological
expertise. About 150 Severodvinsk residents took part in its discussion:
students of St. Petersburg Technical University, ecology specialists,
ect. The project is allegedly ecologically safe. Ecologist V.I.
Vashchenko commented on the issue:
"We conducted a preliminary estimation of the documents about the
floating nuclear power plant project. The project considers the
influence of radioactive wastes both on the workers of the Sevmash
Enterprise and on the rest of the city's residents. The documented data
allowed us to come to the conclusion that harm from the floating nuclear
power plant will be minimum. I can verify this fact as an ecologist.
Residents should know that the project of the nuclear station was
totally approved of by ecological and other controlling units."
Russia's major sources of energy are basically heating and hydroelectric
power stations. Nuclear plants generate about 15% of all energy
produced. In America, the number is 39%. In France, it is manufactures
about 70%. However, one should not discount alternative sources of
energy such as wind power. The heating and electric station of
Severodvinsk operates with the help of coal, which contains a large
quantity of natural radionuclids, particularly, radium 226. When they
burn, they become concentrated, harming the local population (those
people are close to a source of ionizing radiation).
The harm of a floating nuclear power plant will be a lot less than that
of coal-powered plants. If the future nuclear power plant works at full
capacity, then the entire dose of the radiation will be 15 times less in
comparison with the same index of a heating and electric power plant. In
other words, the nuclear power will 15 times safer.
There is also another relevant issue: a large number of premature
deaths. The use of nuclear power implies only one premature death during
the entire operation of the station (40 years) vs. 280 incidents every
year with the use of a coal-powered plant. About 17 thousand tons of
soot "fall" down on the people of the Arkhangelsk region every year
because of the use of coal.
The station to be built by the Sevmash Enterprise is going to be the
main one. The floating nuclear power plant in Severodvinsk will be
accessible to the public. Any investor will be able to go there and see
everything with his own eyes.
The project stipulates fivefold radiation safety, whereas the norm
requires double safety ( Chernobyl nuclear power plant). This level of
security is meant to avoid any kind of breakdown both inside and outside
the plant (earthquake, plane crash, and so on). It will be possible to
store the spent fuel for 12 years.
Nevertheless, not all ecologists rejoice in the nuclear future of the
city. Many publications of the ecological site www.bellona.ru attempt to
prove the harm that will be caused. It was particularly written that the
floating nuclear power plants will bring much more harm to the nature
than nuclear subs.
The Russian ecological organization Green Cross and the Center of
Ecological Politics of Russia wrote a detailed report pertaining to the
floating nuclear power plants of Russia and threats that they pose to
the ocean. The report was signed by respectable ecologists and nuclear
scientists (both Russian and foreign). The scientists came to the
conclusion that the floating nuclear power plants will be dangerous from
an ecological point of view. It was also added that they will not be
profitable from an economic point of view either. According to
scientists' opinion, the floating nuclear power plants will lead to the
considerable expansion of opportunities to produce materials needed for
the development of nuclear weapons. These plants could also become
objects of international nuclear blackmail and terrorism.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov