15 Jun '11, 5pm

Russia building floating nuclear power plants to unlock Arctic oil

In a scheme straight out of the playbook of a Bond villain, Russia is building eight floating nuclear reactors -- the first of their kind in the world -- in order to dominate oil and gas exploration in the Arctic ocean. (Now that it’s increasingly ice-free, the Arctic is way easier to float things around in -- thanks, global warming!) Russia also plans to sell the reactors abroad, and has seen interest from China, Algeria and Indonesia. Each will cost $335 million, and has the additional ability to purify seawater into fresh water. The litany of disasters that could befall one of these floating behemoths is long and fantastical -- it’s basically Deepwater Horizon plus Fukushima Daiichi, plus imagine what Somali pirates could do with a floating nuke, if you dare. But its manufacturer says the platforms should be entirely safe, and would they lie to you? "We have 50 years ex...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-15-russia-building-floa...

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