Despite a spate of headlines to the contrary, the Russian behemoth currently tied to a dock in Murmansk is not the world’s first floating nuclear power plant. That honor went to the MH-1A Sturgis, built by the US Army and towed to the Panama Canal Zone more than 50 years ago to be used as a portable electricity supply. It is currently being dismantled in Galveston, Texas, a four-year job that is nearly done. That makes the Akademik Lomonosov, which is basically a giant barge housing two nuclear reactors of the type used on submarines, “for now the only one of its kind,” as the New York Times reported earlier this week. Commissioned by the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, the floating facility has been under construction since 2010. Its reactors will be loaded with nuclear fuel and started up this autumn, according to Rosatom, and then towed to the seaport of Pevek—about 500 miles from Alaska—where it will replace two aging, smaller power plants and generate up to 70 megawatts of electricity.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 29th Aug 2018 read more »