Russia’s nuclear power-generating ships, designed to power offshore oil-drilling platforms in the Arctic, are ready to become fully operational by 2016.
The ships will be equipped with KLT-40 reactors that can power 200,000 homes and can be modified to desalinate 240,000 cubic meters of water per day. Each ship will hold two reactors, which together will produce 70 megawatts of electricity. According to Rosenergoatom, the state-owned builder of the floating power plants, the enrichment levels will be kept far below the weapons-grade threshold established by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
But skeptics refer to these mobile nuclear power plants as floating Chernobyls and question whether the auxiliary safety systems are up to required standards. Added to the questionable record of nuclear waste disposal, the possibly overlooked containment structures, and increasing concern that the boats might become a subject of terrorist attacks aimed at the future Chinese or Indonesian customers, the analysts might have quite a case.
However, it is very well known that regardless of how safe a nuclear power plant is, possible incidents might happen, and terrorist attacks present a threat to any currently floating ship.
Isn’t it interesting that the analysts of the situation somehow neglect the fact that the ships will be used for opening up the Arctic’s untapped oil reserves by using aggressive drilling operations, which will surely affect the environment in a very disturbing way?