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Russia decides to fuel floating nuclear plant in Murmansk, following pressure from Norway

After pressure from Norway, Rosatom says floating nuclear plant will be fueled in Murmansk
The two reactors on “Akademik Lomonosov” will not have uranium fuel on board when being towed around Scandinavia next year, 
Barents Observer, Thomas Nilsen, 22 July 17,

In late June, State Secretary Marit Berger Røsland in Norway’s Foreign Ministry raised safety concerns about Russia’s plans to tow its first floating nuclear power plant around the coast of Norway.

“We clearly expressed that the Government is highly critical to the planed twoing of the nuclear power plant along the coast of Norway,” Berger Røsland said after meeting Rosatom officials at the annual Joint Norwegian-Russian commission on nuclear safety.

Norway and Russia has since the mid-90s cooperated on nuclear safety projects in the high north. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo has in total granted some €200 million in support, mainly for nuclear waste and reactor safety projects on the Kola Peninsula.

For Norway, having a floating nuclear power plant with two reactors loaded with irradiated uranium fuel sailing outside the coast has caused public concerns about possible accident and, in worst-case, radioactive contamination of marine resources.

On Friday, Russia’s State Nuclear Corporation Rosatom announced the shift of plans.

Will be loaded in Murmansk

“The loading of nuclear fuel into the reactors of the floating nuclear power plant “Akademik Lomonosov” and the start of the reactors will take place in Murmansk after the plant has be delivered without fuel on board,” General Director of Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev says.

“We will carry out the transportation through the Baltic and the Scandinavian region without nuclear fuel on board,” he noted and said this will meet the wishes of the countries of the Baltic-Scandinavian region……..

Not everyone, though, is happy with the move. Regional environmental group Priroda i Molodezh (Nature and Youth) in Murmansk on Saturday tweeted “This is transfer of the problem to another region where people also live.”

Another tweet from the organization reads: “By this logic, St. Petersburg is a nuclear-free zone, and Murmansk is a testing ground for nuclear tests?”

Atomflot is located less than a kilometre north of the nearest apartment blocks in the Rosta district in Murmansk.

Testing in Murmansk

After testing the reactors in Murmansk, a city with some 300,000 inhabitants, the floating nuclear power plant will be towed along Russia’s northern coast to the Arctic port town of Pevek on the Chukotka Peninsula……

Rosatom has further plans to build a series of similar floating nuclear power plants, both for use in remote Arctic regions and for leasing to other countries. https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2017/07/after-pressure-norway-rosatom-says-floating-nuclear-plant-will-be-fueled

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July 24, 2017 - Posted by | Russia, safety

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