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The floating nuclear reactors would provide power and heat to Arctic regions

Russia's Atomic Power Agency and an Arctic military shipbuilding plant have both agreed to build the world's first commercial floating nuclear fission reactor, which should be in use in as early as 2010.  The first floating reactor that Rosenergoatom and Sevmash build is estimated to cost around $336 million -- it will be deployed in a remote, sparsely-populated region on Siberia's northern coast, where electric and thermal supply is very limited.  Russian president Vladimir Putin hopes to bump the nation's electricity generated by nuclear reactors from 17 percent to 25 percent.   

Although Russian authorities believe floating nuclear plants are safe, not everyone is as supportive.  Environmentalists like Charles Digges, editor of a Norwegian and Russian arctic nuclear publication, believes that floating nuclear plants are "absolutely unsafe - inherently so."  However, the head of Russia's Federal Atomic Power Agency has dismissed all criticism while saying that there will not be a floating Chernobyl incident.

Nuclear fission isn't the only game in town anymore.  ITER, JT-60 and EAST are all racing to increase the world's knowledge on nuclear fusion as well.

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RE: good idea
By NT78stonewobble on 6/19/2006 5:03:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well I wouldn't say that it wasn't dangerous, a lot of things are.

But still even chernobyl resultet in a relatively "local" pollution compaired to the worldwide effects of CFC gases and co2 pollution.

Personally I think we should all have gone a head in the sixties and built as many plants as possible. We wouldn't have to catch up to base energy production on something else than oil today. And the practical problems of waste and others from the nuclear power plants would have been solved by now atleast by actual experience on the subject...

RE: good idea
By xit2nowhere on 6/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: good idea
By Griswold on 6/19/2006 7:15:30 AM , Rating: 1
But still even chernobyl resultet in a relatively "local" pollution compaired to the worldwide effects of CFC gases and co2 pollution.

This "local" pollution affected all of europe, which translates to a radius of like 2000km around ukraine. So, if increased radiation levels on all of the eurasian continent, that can still be meassured today in some european regions, is the result of just one reactor block blowing up, what could the effects of 2,4, 10 such incidents be? And there will be more incidents in the future. Nothing is 100% foolproof.

RE: good idea
By masher2 on 6/19/2006 9:26:29 AM , Rating: 1
> "This "local" pollution affected all of europe"

No, it "affected" nothing. It was measureable (briefly) across a large swath of Europe, as a tiny increase in the background radiation we're all constantly bombarded with. Of course, anyone living in a mountainous state already receives a far higher dose than Europeans did from Chernobyl...and they receive that dose day in and day out, each and every year of their lives.

> "Nothing is 100% foolproof"

Exactly! Which is why we should use the safest technology we know to generate power. Which is western-style commercial nuclear power plants. Cumulatively, they've logged over 10,000 reactor-years of operation, all without one single fatality. Coal, oil, not even hydoelectric is as safe.

RE: good idea
By DEMO24 on 6/19/2006 9:31:11 AM , Rating: 2
The radiation was measurable across the entire planet. Obviously it was not enough to cause any harm to say someone in the U.S, but there was still a slight increase.

RE: good idea
By masher2 on 6/19/2006 10:03:38 AM , Rating: 3
> "The radiation was measurable across the entire planet"

Quite incorrect. It was measurable across most of the Northern Hemisphere, but not at all anywhere in the Southern. And we have to understand what "measureable" even means in this context....radiation counters are sensitive enough to detect decay of a single nucleus. The radiation measured from Chernobyl in other nations was less than you can measure standing across from a large load of bananas (due to the radioactive potassium found naturally in them).

Outside of the immediate area around Chernobyl, no one received a radiation dose that was any way, shape, or form harmful.

RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/19/2006 4:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
Outside of the immediate area around Chernobyl, no one received a radiation dose that was any way, shape, or form harmful.
That's at least debatable - depending on your definition of "immediate". My mom got some harmful dose on May 1st 1986 (4 days after the incident) when a portion of fallout went to Kiev (which was about 70 kilometers away, not quite "immediate area", right?) so she got some light radiation sickness symptoms, not very noticeable immediately, but discovered later anyway - a lower level of white blood cells and some chronic lung disease since then, like an uncurable cough or something - she coughs all the time since summer 1986 - I guess this is because she went cleaning our garage roof, old and rusty, and inhaled some of that radioactive dust that was brought from the disaster site by wind. I've heard of several incidents like that, although this kind of information was classified then and is not very welcome even now - the government hates the idea of giving any help to people suffered then, hence they don't welcome any inquiries into that, and never will. There was also serious pollution in Belarus, several hundred kilometers from the blown reactor, also brought on by the wind. I've heard stories of deserted towns there, around Mohilev and area, but don't ask their main boss President Lukashenko - this guy is a little nasty Saddam, he's even more secretive about that than Ukrainian government.

On a side note - I love your comment about bananas, you seem to be very educated guy, unlike many other AT readers here, always pleasure to read your posts. Keep it up :)

RE: good idea
By masher2 on 6/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: good idea
By masher2 on 6/19/2006 6:19:16 PM , Rating: 1
Just wanted to ask, if you have any info on contamination in Belarus or Ukraine, to please pass it my way. Always willing to read up on the subject, and correct myself if I'm wrong.

RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/19/06, Rating: -1
RE: good idea
By Strunf on 6/19/2006 8:51:18 PM , Rating: 2
Saw a documentary about Chernobyl long time ago, with a black and white movie of the Russian officials sending the army men remove some things near the reactor area, and instead of masks they only had a piece of cloth to filter the air… some governments are just too full of themselves and they rather let their men die than let others help.

RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/19/06, Rating: -1
RE: good idea
By masher2 on 6/19/2006 9:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
> " doubt I can give you any hard facts other than in Russian, one can dig 'em up on Russian sites, so you probably have to stay with wikipedia's English language content for now :) "

I can read Russian, albeit rather slow and haltingly. I attended graduate school in Moscow, not that long after the Chernobyl incident, actually.

> "cautious people never buy mushrooms and any other stuff picked up in those forests"

Yes, that's the problem with isotypes like cesium-137...they stay in the soil for several years, and plants like mushrooms can actually concentrate them. On farmed land, its not so bad...a few years of good plowing will usually disperse the cesium well enough, but in a forest, obvious, one cannot do this.

RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/21/06, Rating: -1
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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