UPDATED 7:13 AM PT — Friday, August 23, 2019
Russia has launched a floating atomic power plant amid a push to improve infrastructure in the Arctic. The country launched the vessel, called the Akademik Lomonosov, in the port city of Murmansk in Northern Russia on Thursday.
The nation’s nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, said the vessel carries a portable power plant that can supply electricity to places disconnected from the grid.
The announcement comes shortly after a nuclear incident in Northern Russia, which some say was a result of a failed nuclear weapon test. The unit comprises two nuclear reactors, which Rosatom has claimed are absolutely safe.
“It has no negative impact on environment. It has a positive impact, in fact, because there’s no coal or other fossil fuel burning, there’s no emissions whatsoever. The station can not produce an oil spill. No waste from the station is dumped into the environment. Everything is inside here, nothing goes out.”
— Dmitry Alekseenko, Deputy Director – Rosenergoatom
Russian officials say the station will navigate along Russia’s Arctic coastline, assisting in economic development of the region.