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Russia to move floating nuclear power station through Baltic Sea

Shipyard workers on board the Akademik Lomonosov during its Launch in 2010.
Shipyard workers on board the Akademik Lomonosov during its Launch in 2010. Source: (AFP/Scanpix)

According to Swedish Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL), Russia is planning to move a floating nuclear power station through the Gulf of Finland this summer. The Akademik Lomonosov will be moved from St. Petersburg to Murmansk, HBL reported.

Akademik Lomonosov is a floating nuclear power station. It does not have the capability of moving on its own, which is why it will be towed. The platform’s route will take it from St. Petersburg through the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea, past Denmark into the North Sea, and along the Norwegian coast and past the North Cape into the Barents Sea.

According to Finnish TV channel MTV, tests on the platform’s reactors are planned already for the time before it leaves St. Petersburg, which prompted worried reactions from several countries along its route, as the reactors could be operational already during the journey.

The Finnish nuclear authority, STUK, is aware of the Russian project and according to MTV planning to visit St. Petersburg in the short term.

The Akademik Lomonosov is 144 m long and houses two nuclear reactors. The purpose of the floating power station is to provide power for ice-breaking and clearing shipping routes in the Barents Sea.

Norwegian minister of foreign affairs Børge Brende as well as other Nordic governments have demanded more information about the project and its route. Russia has confirmed that it is planning to tow the Akademik Lomonosov some 2,300 nautical miles altogether.

Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are worried about the possibility of an accident.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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