Yes, you read correctly. The Russians announced the grand opening of the first ever floating nuclear power plant to be held in 2019. The makers of the plant called Akademik Lomonosov, LLC Baltiysky Zavod Shipbuilding and Rosenergoatom, claim to have built a disaster-resilient, super-efficient floating power station, which can potentially provide power to all these isolated and remote areas with limited electricity supplies.
The nuclear plant is essentially a 472ft long ship, which will be equipped with two KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors, controlled and monitored by 69 crew members. The reactors are considered as relatively small, but they should be able to provide electricity to a mid-sized city with around 200,000 inhabitants. This means that the facility will be generating around 70 megawatts, which at the start of the project, will be directed toward the towns of Sevmash and Severodvinsk.
The facility has been a subject of heated debates ever since the beginning of its construction in April 2007. The main reason for this is of course safety, and the fact that skeptics do not see it as a solution to the lack of electricity in isolated parts of the world, but rather as a bigger possibility for disasters. In addition to this, the concerns have increased especially after the incident in Fukushima.
But the developers have made sure that their power plant, Akademik Lomonosov, complies with all safety regulations. The reactors, for example, have nothing to do with the typical Russian nuclear reactors. These two will operate on lightly enriched uranium, which cannot be used in nuclear weapons if stolen, a rule that the International Atomic Energy Commission has set.
Despite all arguments against it, the floating nuclear power plant is seen as a long-anticipated source of power for numerous military bases and mineral deposits centers, as well as towns in the Arctic and the Far East coast of Russia, where the need of electricity and heat is more than pressing.