Russia’s Floating Nuclear Reactors

Mike Schuler
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October 1, 2010

BBC brings us news of Russia’s push to build the infrastructure needed to operate in the Arctic and control of the large reserves of oil and gas thought to lie under the Arctic Sea.

In a grimy shipyard in St Petersburg, an ugly hulk of red-painted metal sits floating in the dock.

On deck, workmen scurry back and forth, hammering, drilling and welding.

This strange construction, part ship, part platform, is unique and lies at the heart of Russia’s grand ambitions for the Arctic.

When it is completed in 2012, it will be the first of eight floating nuclear power stations which the government wants to place along Russia’s north coast, well within the Arctic Circle.

The idea is the nuclear reactors will provide the power for Russia’s planned push to the North Pole.

Moscow is claiming more than a million square kilometres of extra territory in the Arctic, stretching from its current border in the Arctic Sea, all the way to the Pole.

The territory includes an underwater mountain range called the Lomonosov ridge, a area which some Russian scientists claim could hold 75 billion barrels of oil.

This is more than the country’s current proven reserves. Read Article

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