Russia launches floating nuclear power Akademik Lomonosov

Russia launches floating nuclear power Akademik Lomonosov
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A huge vessel, the world’s only floating nuclear power plant, has left its dock in the Russian port of Murmansk and is on its way to the arctic town of Pevek despite opposition from environmental groups.

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The 144-metre long and 30-metre wide vessel, named the Akademik Lomonosov after the 18th-century Russian scientist, houses two nuclear reactors. It will be towed 6,000 kilometres to the remote Siberian region of Chukotka, about 86 kilometres from the US
state of Alaska, after leaving the port on Friday.

Once docked, the 21,000-tonne barge will replace a coal-burning power plant and an ageing land-based nuclear plant and will supply 50,000 people in the area with electricity, according to Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

But Greenpeace activists warn the plant could become, in their words, a “Chernobyl on Ice”.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports from Moscow.

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