Russia is planning a fleet of floating and submersible nuclear power stations to exploit Arctic oil and gas reserves, causing widespread alarm among environmentalists.

A prototype floating nuclear power station being constructed at the SevMash shipyard in Severodvinsk is due to be completed next year. Agreement to build a further four was reached between the Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, and the northern Siberian republic of Yakutiya in February.

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In how many ways is this a bad idea?

Comments

  1. #1 Troublesome Frog
    May 4, 2009

    Don’t they already have floating and submersible nuclear power stations? Armed with ICBMs, no less?

  2. #2 Virgil Samms
    May 4, 2009

    Nuclear power stations? To exploit oil and gas? I must be missing something…

  3. #3 Azkyroth
    May 4, 2009

    In Soviet Russia, oil and gas exploit you!

    (No, seriously. Nuclear power stations MUST be a typo. Or reporter cluelessness.)

  4. #4 MikeB
    May 4, 2009

    From a country that gave us a huge amount of abandoned nuclear bits and bobs, the Kursk and Chernobyl, you can tell that this is going to be good.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    May 4, 2009

    The power plants are to power the drilling platforms.

  6. #6 DuWayne
    May 4, 2009

    I’m not sure which seems more fucked up to me, the fact that they’re building floating nuclear power plants (not a typo Az – read the article) or the irony that the oil companies are looking to exploit climate change to get at the oil and gas.

    Apparently they don’t believe in global warming, but are sure looking forward to the lack of ice in summer.

    Why the fuck did I bring small human beings into this fucking mess?

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    May 4, 2009

    Why the fuck did I bring small human beings into this fucking mess?

    To grow them large and send them in to save us all. I presume.

  8. #8 Azkyroth
    May 4, 2009

    …the scary thing is, I have no idea whether the previous comment is facetious. (I’m guessing not, sadly; a Poe presumably would have “Ponzi” spelled right).

  9. #9 DuWayne
    May 4, 2009

    …the scary thing is, I have no idea whether the previous comment is facetious.

    Sad, but true. I would actually guess yeah on that, but it is rather iffy. Considering one of my best friends actually believes there is a UN/E.T. base on the dark side of the moon (not believes there might or probably is) I don’t tend to assume…

  10. #10 Stephanie Z
    May 4, 2009

    Between DDT and Nugent, I’m voting Poe.

  11. #11 DaveH
    May 5, 2009

    I must apologize for the comment from Right Wing Extremist.

    He may certainly speak for himself but he does not speak for a lot of conservatives out there.

    The story about the ship is true — it is a floating Nuke Plant and anyone who reads the word “Nuke” and starts hyperventilating needs to get an update on current technology. It is very odd that you are mapping current nuclear technology onto the past failures of Chernobyl and even bringing in Three Mile Island (whose reactor failed but whose safety systems performed as engineered)

    Considering that it takes about fifteen years to get a plant from design to power, these two examples were designed in the 1940’s and 1950’s

    QUESTION: How many of you are reading this on a laptop?

    I am.

    How many of you are listening to music?

    I have Hamza El Din playing through my iPod.

    Was this technology available fifteen years ago?

    Yeah, but not as a laptop or as an iPod.

    Nukes have made the same journey. France gets 70% of their power from nukes. Japan the same. The USA gets 20%

    Patrick Moore (the co-founder of Greenpeace) says that Nuclear Power is our best option.

    Do your fscking homework…

  12. #12 Dunc
    May 5, 2009

    It is very odd that you are mapping current nuclear technology onto the past failures of Chernobyl and even bringing in Three Mile Island

    Nobody even mentioned Three Mile Island… Is this, by any chance, a blind cut’n’paste?

  13. I live in Russia (so sorry for bad English – its not my native language). This project of floating nuclear power plants looks like “Clipper” spaceship – inadequate funding and (possibly) poor organisation make it a kind of never-will-be-built vessel.

    With proper funding and organisation it may be a cool idea – distant areas in Siberia (all north-east coast, for example) and Kamchatka (yes, they are using oil for power plants and boilers) has no other power sources. If we have to choose between nuclear power and oil – nuclear power is best solution, IMHO.

  14. #14 Jason Thibeault
    May 5, 2009

    The whole global climate chnage thing s another ponzy scheme

    I suspect you don’t know what a Ponzi scheme is.

    Not that that’s the least of your failings.

  15. #15 Jason Thibeault
    May 5, 2009

    Sigh. I meant “greatest of your failings”… it sounded like such an awesome backhand in my mind, until I parsed it out.

  16. #16 DaveH
    May 5, 2009

    Hey Dunc #13 – it was not cut and paste. I brought up Chernobyl and TMI as whenever anyone tries to discredit Nuclear Power, they always bring these two into the conversation.

    There have been a lot of advances in Nuclear Power. We have an incredible safety record for our submarine fleet as do other navies.

    Also, when the original plants were built, each and every one of them was unique. Now, they are modularized and when one cooling pump has a bad bearing, all of the sibling reactors get that bearing replaced as well.

    Stop wringing your hands and bloviating and start learning some basic science and engineering. It ain’t that hard to understand…

  17. #17 Bobby Dee
    May 5, 2009

    Hey Dunc #13 – it was not cut and paste. I brought up Chernobyl and TMI as whenever anyone tries to discredit Nuclear Power, they always bring these two into the conversation.

    A self fulfilling prophesy then after all.

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