Russia Floats Barge for Waterborne Nuclear Power Plant

1 July 2010 (Last Updated July 1st, 2010 18:30)

Russia has taken a big step towards the creation of the world's first floating nuclear power station, by putting a barge that will house the plant in the Baltic Sea. Environmentalists are sceptical about the controversial project and point out that Russia's plan for floating nuclear po

Russia has taken a big step towards the creation of the world's first floating nuclear power station, by putting a barge that will house the plant in the Baltic Sea.

Environmentalists are sceptical about the controversial project and point out that Russia's plan for floating nuclear power plants along its northern coastline is risky.

The head of Russia's nuclear agency Rosatom Sergei Kiriyenko told Reuters the plant will be safe and predicted interest from foreign customers.

The vessel housing the plant, which is expected to be completed late in 2012, was launched from the Baltiisky shipyard in the Baltic Sea.

Nuclear fuel for the plant will be loaded later in the Murmansk region and the station towed to its place of operation, according to Kiriyenko

Environmentalists fear that if there is an accident it would mean the nuclearisation of a large piece of land and the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the polluted area.