Russia’s floating nuclear power station Akademik Lomonosov will be towed from St. Petersburg through the Baltic and North seas and finally to Eastern Siberia. Estonia is following these activities, analysing radiation and environmental risks.
The first stop of the platform will be Murmansk. Several of the countries along its route have expressed worry over potential accidents, especially as first testing of the two reactors on board the Akademik Lomonosov has been reported, and it is assumed the reactors could be in operation already on the way to their destination.
The 144-m platform is expected to be towed next year. The power station will eventually have a capacity of 70 MW and can be used for a variety of purposes, including providing energy for clearing shipping routes in the Barents and Arctic seas. According to current plans, it will be placed in Vilyuchinsk in the Kamchatka region in Russia's far east.
The Norwegians have had experiences with Russian towing operations in the past, with a cruiser formerly of the Soviet Navy to be towed to India to be scrapped instead sinking off the coast of Norway in 1994. The wreck was eventually dismantled, but works continued until 2013.
Estonia mapping out potential risks
Teet Koitjärv of the Environmental Board told ERR on Tuesday that they had been aware of the construction of the floating nuclear power station for a long time. “We’ve discussed the situation with other state authorities and also with the nuclear authorities of the Nordic and Baltic countries. As far as we know the reactor won’t be transported this year, which is why we’re busy with the assessment of risks and following how the situation develops,” Koitjärv said.
Close cooperation with the countries in the Baltic Sea area was particularly important, as anything that might happen would affect all of them together. “And we’re doing this very seriously as well,” Koitjärv said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn