Last month the Akademik Lomonosov, a first-of-its-kind floating nuclear plant built by Russian state nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, arrived at Pevek, a port town on the remote Chukotka Peninsula in the Russian Arctic. There, the plant is expected to provide power to about 100,000 homes. The success of this project could mark a sharp change in the way nuclear power is deployed in areas where renewable energy cannot be implemented— and could herald new advances in the fight against climate change. However, despite this promise, the Lomonosov has come under fire from anti-nuclear groups. Greenpeace has dubbed it “Chernobyl on ice”, and staged publicity stunts to get the message across. Even though Greenpeace’s bias is well-known, their criticism should be addressed. Safety should come first, and environmentalists are right to ask questions. But as Dale Klein, a former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said discussing the reaction to the Lomonosov: “It’s just a scare tactic. It’s just to make people think about an accident of some kind. So, it has no basis in science.” The Finnish regulator echoed that sentiment, dismissing fears that the reactor should be a cause for concern.
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