World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Plant becomes operational

Prelims level : Floating Nuclear Power Plant Mains level : Science & Technology | Indigenization of technology & developing new technology
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Why in news?

  • On December 11, 2018, Russia’s Akademik Lomonosov, the world’s first floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) has become operational.
  • The Russian atomic energy corporation Rosatom announced that the plant has been brought to 10% of its capacity.

Akademik Lomonosov FNPP:

  • Akademik Lomonosov was constructed by Russian state nuclear power firm Rosatom.
  • It has length of 144 metres and width of 30 metres.
  • It has a displacement of 21,500 tonnes and crew of 69 people.
  • For power generation, it has been fitted with two modified KLT-40 naval propulsion nuclear reactors (each of 35 MW capacity) together providing up to 70 MW of electricity and 300 MW of heat.
  • It is named after Russian Academician Mikhail Lomonosov.
  • It has the latest security systems and is considered as one of safest nuclear installations in the world.
  • However, environmentalists have dubbed it as ‘Nuclear Titanic’ or ‘Chernobyl on ice’.
  • It will be primarily used to power oil rigs in remote areas of Artic region where Russia is pushing to drill for oil and gas.

Significance of this nuclear power plant:

  • The low-capacity, mobile (floating) nuclear power plant can produce enough electricity to power town of 200,000 residents living in Russia’s far-flung northernmost Artic region where large amounts of electricity is not needed and construction of conventional power station based on coal, gas and diesel is complicated and costly.
  • It can save upto 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
  • The project is part of Russia’s greater aims to secure rich deposits of oil and gas in North Pole region in Artic.
  • Due to climate change, new shipping routes are opening up in Russia’s north and as result, it is strengthening its military position in the region.
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