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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 masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 6:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "You define safety based on the HIGHEST number of POSSIBLE INJURIES."

I got a nice chuckle out of this one. Lets quickly disprove this little gem before we go any further. Let's imagine two different machines. One kills one person a day, each and every day. Guaranteed. The other one has a one-in-a billion chance of killing two people on any given day.

By your notions, the first machine is inherently safer. After all, it can never kill more than one person. So what if it kills 365 people each and every year.

Solar power is like this. The deaths come in ones and twos...possibly 20 or 30 for that rare larger accident. But-- if we actually ever tried to generate large-scale solar power, they'd come in a daily stream.

Compare that to the Western nuclear power industry, which has racked up 10,000+ reactor YEARS of operation, all without a single fatality. Impressive, to say the least.

> "While it may be difficult to destroy a well designed, built, and maintained nuclear plant, it is still very possible"

Of course. But it wouldn't kill "millions" of people if you did, even if it was in the middle of Manhattan. If you built the plant somewhere outside of a urban area, it wouldn't even kill hundreds of people, assuming the government took proper steps to evacuate and decontam.


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