Floating NPPs: A Futuristic Conception

A recent issue of Rosatom’s promotional publication “Vestnik Atomproma”:http://www.minatom.ru/i/FileStorage/Vestnik_03-2008.pdf has some cool pictures of floating NPPs, which I posted below. (“Older conceptions”:http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070927/81397620.html tended to be a little bit on the boring side.)

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For the ultimate floating NPP bonanza, you should check out an article in the December 2007 _Jane’s Intelligence Review_ by Ole Reistad and CNS’s own Cristina Hansell, which not only provides a neat history of the floating NPP concept, but is complete with discussion of reactor models, questions about LEU use in the prototype, and a handy map. Reistad and Hansell conclude:

bq. “While … some of the risks of floating nuclear power plants can be assessed, *a full evaluation of the safety and security of the reactors is not possible with the information available*. The initial impetus for the floating plants’ construction was the problem of providing heat and power in the Russian Arctic, but the current drive to produce these plants lays equal emphasis on hopes to lease the facilities to foreign countries for profit… *Russia is currently promising to fuel the floating plants with low-enriched fuel*, a commitment that eliminates the possibility that its fuel could be used to build a nuclear bomb. However, *the idea that the plants could be leased to countries that are otherwise not eligible to receive nuclear technology remains problematic and the economic incentives to reverse the low-enriched fuel decision concerning*.”

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