The search for energy to fuel the Technological Revolution and drag us out of the economic doldrums continues. The blog, EX-SKF, which covers the ongoing crisis at Fukushima, has another interesting story today. The Russians have designed floating nuclear power plants for use in the Arctic Sea to supply isolated settlements with electricity and to desalinize sea water.
Two energy nightmares - carbon and nuclear - look set to converge. Perhaps these plants will also support oil exploration around the Pole? Why do I get the feeling that the Arctic will be the next Middle East? Canada's current PM, Stephen Harper, was elected after sounding hawkish about the Arctic and planning increased military presence in Canada's northern territories. His Arctic policy stalled during the recession; although in 2011, Russia and Canada rattled sabres over the Arctic Ocean and the oil and gas beneath it.
The high price of oil and associated profits of off-shore drilling are fueling plans for Scottish independence. Image Source: Guardian.
Arctic concerns aside, several countries (whose officials have never heard of tsunamis and 90-foot-high rogue waves) are interested in buying the completed floating nuclear plants. From EX-SKF:
According to Oilprice.com article quoting from an RT article in Russian, the floating nuclear plants are based on the Soviet-era nuclear-powered icebreakers.Each 21,000 ton vessel will have two “modified KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors” that will provide up to 70 megawatts of electricity or 300 megawatts of heat, sufficient for a city with a population of 200,000 people. Additionally, the floating NPPs can provide water desalination services capable of supplying up to 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day.According to the article below, 15 countries including China, Indonesia, and Malaysia are already interested in buying the floating nuke plants from Russians.
I have a feeling that Russians may not like the title of the article, but here it is, as I do not understand the Russian language.
From Oilprice.com's John Daley (7/10/2013; emphasis is mine):
Note that the source for the information on floating nuclear plants is Russia Today, a media mouthpiece of the Russian government.Chernobyl at Sea? Russia Building Floating Nuclear Power Plants
So much for the lessons of Fukushima. Never mind oil spills, the Russian Federation is preparing an energy initiative that, if it has problems, will inject nuclear material into the maritime environment.
Speaking to reporters at the 6th International Naval Show in St. Petersburg, Baltiskii Zavod shipyard general director Aleksandr Voznesenskii said that the Russian Federation’s first floating nuclear power plant “should be operational by 2016.”
See my other posts related to Russia, here.