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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:24 PM
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A Floating Chernobyl?
A Floating Chernobyl?
The first reactor-on-a-barge will bring power to Russias electricity-starved Arctic

By Bjorn Carey | October 2006

"While the U.S. hems and haws over reviving nuclear energy as a less expensive alternative to oil, Russia has dug back 30 years in our nuclear history to find a solution for some of its own energy woes: the floating nuclear power plant.
The Russian nuclear-energy company Rosenergoatom is planning a mobile plant to deliver electricity to hard-to-reach northern territories near the White Sea, where harsh weather makes regular coal and oil fuel deliveries unreliable and expensive. The $200-million floating plantslated for construction next yearcould provide relatively inexpensive, reliable electricity to 200,000 people.

Although the concept of a water-borne nuke plant might sound outlandish, it isnt new, nor did it originate in Russia. Westinghouse Electric Company considered the idea in the 1970s and built an immense dry-dock facility in Jacksonville, Florida, where plants would be launched and floated north along the Eastern Seaboard, con- veniently doling out power to towns in need. Engineers would be able to standardize construction for multiple plants in an offsite factory with increased quality control and reduced production costs before tugging a plant to its port of call. But ultimately, says retired Westinghouse consultant Richard Orr, energy conservation following the 1973 OPEC oil embargo killed the project.

The Russian plan is to mount two reactors on a football-field-size barge, float it to a port, connect power lines to the mainland, and turn on the reactors, providing communities with affordable electricity. The plant will store waste and spent fuel in an onboard facility that workers will empty every 10 to 12 years during regular maintenance overhauls. After 40 years, the normal life span for a nuclear plant, the decommissioned plant would be towed away and replaced with
a new one. The reactor and spent fuel would go to a storage facility, but the barge could be recycled.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:26 AM
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1. Considering How the Permafrost Is Melting, This Is the Better Idea
Better to build it floating from the start, than have to play catch up when global warming sets it adrift....
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 01:29 PM
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2. Terrifying thought.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 02:23 PM
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3. We've got lots of these: They're called nuclear submarines & carriers
In fact, I recall one time when the USS Los Angeles moored dockside and provided power to an area. The reactor on my boat had an abundant amount of powermore than we needed.

While I've worked and lived next to a nuclear reactor and came away unscathed, I feel that the Achilles heal of nuclear power is waste disposal. Until we take realistic steps to deal with this toxic byproduct we will not have a truly safe supply of power.

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 05:35 PM
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4. I agree the biggest issue is what to do with all the permant garbage.
Those little reactors on boats are not so scary. This would be a very big one. Have they not heard of ice?
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