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Global heating brings easier Arctic passage for Russia’s floating nuclear power plant to open up Arctic for more fossil fuel mining, more global heating.

 World’s first floating nuclear power plant fuels Russia’s Arctic ambitions Remote Siberian port lies at centre of plans to open up shipping and reach valuable resources © Nastassia Astrasheuskaya/FT | The Akademik Lomonosov nuclear power plant Share on twitter (opens new window) Share on facebook (opens new window) Share on linkedin (opens new window) Save Nastassia Astrasheuskaya in Pevek YESTERDAY  

  Moored off the small Arctic town of Pevek is the Akademik Lomonosov — the world’s first floating nuclear power plant and a sign of how President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions for Russia’s far east are taking shape. This port on the northern coast of Siberia was once notorious as a Soviet gulag. These days it is part of Moscow’s plan to open up a major shipping lane through the Arctic and bring natural resources within easier reach. Pevek’s harbour is only ice-free for four months a year but is intended to become a hub for commercial shipping on the so-called Northern Sea Route as climate change gradually eases the passage through the Arctic. And the power provided by the Akademik Lomonosov is intended to help Pevek become a gateway to Chukotka, a region close to Alaska and rich in gold, silver, copper, lithium and other metals…………

 Few in Pevek seem concerned by the nuclear reactor in the harbour. “Fear? We have none. Perhaps Russians are not afraid of anything any more. We have seen and lived through everything. We have to be optimistic,” said Igor Ranav, a locally born businessman. “We were told the plant is made with the latest technology and it is safe, and I hope so.” 

Development of the NSR is in the hands of Rosatom, the state nuclear corporation. As well as commissioning the Akademik Lomonosov, Rosatom is also in charge of nuclear-powered icebreakers that the company expects will help to open up year-round Arctic navigation by the middle of the decade. …………

Developing Chukotka along with the rest of the Arctic has long been a goal for Putin and Russia, which this week is hosting a plenary meeting of the Arctic Council, where the eight countries of the region are represented. “Russia should expand through the Arctic, as this is where it has its main mineral resources,” Putin said in 2017, when Russia first produced liquefied natural gas in the Arctic and exported it via the NSR.  ……………

By mid-century, the  Arctic and Antarctic Research Institut   expects ice levels to lose another two-thirds in the summer, and to halve in winter. The warming ocean is expected to help cut shipment cost. Less ice means fewer icebreakers and faster journeys.  
The warming ocean is expected to help cut shipment cost. Less ice means fewer icebreakers and faster journeys……………..

December 2, 2021 - Posted by | climate change, Russia, technology

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