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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: The waste is the danger
By masher2 on 6/19/2006 2:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Nuclear waste is an issue solved long ago. The truly high-level waste decays rapidly...six months or less in a cooling pond and its down to a small fraction of its original value. As for mid-level waste, a multiplicity of solutions abound. Storage in any arid region is more than safe enough. The solutions currently on the table are down to one chance in ten million of any serious leak, even over a period exceeding several thousand years. Even then you have to assume a major earthquake, shifting of natural aquifers AND no remedial action taken when it occurs....and STILL the enviro-wackos claim its not safe enough. The truth is, nothing will ever satisfy them. They don't want nuclear power, period.

The simplest solution? Drop it in one of the many deep trenches in the ocean. There are already countless millions of tons of uranium, thorium, radium, and radioactive potassium in the ocean. Essentially that's all natural nuclear waste...left over from when the world was formed. And its far more than we'll ever create on our own.

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