Charles Digges

Technicians loading the first reactor aboard the Akademik Lomonosov, Russia's floating nuclear power plant. Credit: Rosenergoatom

First Reactor Started on Russia’s Floating Nuclear Plant

By Charles Digges 2018-11-05 16:35:57

Russia’s floating nuclear power plant, long a controversial dream of the country’s atomic energy industry, has finally become an actual nuclear power plant after its first reactor achieved a sustained chain reaction at its mooring in Murmansk harbor last week. The news came in a release to RIA Novosti, a semi-official Russian newswire, which on Friday quoted an unnamed official with Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear energy enterprise. “The physical launch of the reactor unit on the starboard side of the...

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The condition of the K-27 submarine, which the Soviet Navy scuttled in the waters off Novaya Zemlya. Credit: IBRAE

Russia Updates Maps of Radioactive Debris Sunk in Arctic

By Charles Digges 2018-10-15 17:55:33

Russian scientists have said that radioactive waste sunk in the Arctic by the Soviet Navy has not leaked any contamination, but have urged Moscow to continue funding observation of the underwater nuclear wrecks. Data on the scuttled cargoes –– which includes several thousand containers of radioactive waste, as well as an entire nuclear submarine –– come from a month-and-a-half-long expedition in the Kara Sea conducted by the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Oceanology. Mikhail Flint, the institute’s head, told...

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Credit: Bellona

Russia’s Floating Nuclear Plant Opens its Gangway for Bellona

By Charles Digges 2018-10-01 19:25:07

After years of secrecy surrounding the Akademik Lomonsov, Russia’s controversial floating nuclear power plant, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has finally allowed foreign environmentalists on board to give it a look. Those environmentalists were Nils Bøhmer, Bellona’s general manager, and Oskar Njaa, an advisor with Bellona’s Russia group, and last week, accompanied by Bellona’s staff in Murmansk, theirs were among the first eyes from outside Russia to see the inside of Russia’s most recent answer to mobile nuclear power.

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Sturgis

World's First Floating Nuclear Plant Dismantled in Texas

By Charles Digges 2018-09-24 19:58:00

Last week engineering crews confirmed they had finished dismantling the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, deactivating its reactor and removing more than 680,000 kilograms of nuclear waste, which will now be sent to safer storage. No, no. Not Russia’s Akademik Lomonosov, who officials there will proudly tell you is the world’s “first” floating nuclear power plant, and which workers are currently fueling and testing in Murmansk. Rather it’s the Sturgis, which was built in America and actually claimed the...

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50 Let Pobedy

One of Russia's New Nuclear Icebreakers Facing Delays

By Charles Digges 2018-09-11 17:24:55

Another of Russia’s new-line nuclear icebreakers is running afoul of construction deadlines in a delay that will likely force older ones to operate longer, a report in the business daily Kommersant said. The hull of the Arktika, one of Russia’s three LK-60 nuclear icebreakers, was floated in 2016 at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg. It was due to be commissioned in May of 2019, but that deadline has been pushed back to April of 2020 thanks to a delay...

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Akademik Lomonsov

Russia Begins Fueling its Floating Nuclear Power Plant

By Charles Digges 2018-08-04 18:56:40

Technicians in Northwest Russia have begun to load the reactors of the Akademik Lomonosov, Russia’s first waterborne nuclear power plant, with their uranium fuel in preparation for its journey to the Far East. In a release, Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, confirmed that the fueling operation is underway at Atomflot, the headquarters of the country’s nuclear icebreaker fleet in Murmansk. According to the release, loading of the floating plant’s first reactor began last week, with the second soon to follow....

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Arctic

Rosatom's Control of the Arctic Faces More Pushback

By Charles Digges 2018-05-28 18:05:27

In a legal blow, Russia’s accounts chamber, parliament’s independent financial oversight body, has challenged legislation that would give Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, nearly exclusive control over developing the Arctic’s storied Northern Sea Route between Europe and Asia, news reports have said. The accounts chamber’s recently-released annual report said the Rosatom-authored bill, which has yet to be considered by the parliament, doesn’t present a realistic budget for developing port infrastructure along the icy 6,000 kilometer route and says that state...

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The Akademik Lomonosov in Murmansk

Russia?s Floating Nuclear Plant Arrives in Murmansk

By Charles Digges 2018-05-21 18:48:51

The Akademik Lomonsov, Russia’s floating nuclear power plant – dubbed the “nuclear Titanic” by some environmentalists – arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend, after a 4,000-kilometer (2,500-mile) journey from St. Petersburg that began on May 1. The plant, which has been moored at Atomflot, Russia’s nuclear icebreaker port, will be fueled in July before it is put through several months worth of tests. Next summer, the Akademik Lomosov will be towed once again to its final...

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Arctic

Putin Decrees an Increase in Arctic Traffic

By Charles Digges 2018-05-16 18:51:11

President Vladimir Putin has issued a demand that the amount of traffic flowing through the Arctic Northern Sea Route reach a towering 80 million tons a year by 2024, a figure that exceeds even the most ambitious projections of his government’s ministries. The decree was issued shortly after Putin’s fourth inauguration as president after a March reelection campaign in which he was essentially unopposed. The presidential demand for more traffic, however, would seem to insist on the impossible. Current traffic...

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Arktika

Russia to Dismantle Icebreaker Arktika

By Charles Digges 2018-04-02 18:54:52

Russia’s nuclear icebreaker fleet has announced it will dismantle one of its star players, the Soviet-era behemoth the Arktika, a record-setting vessel against which all other icebreaker achievements have been measured since the ship took to water in 1975. The announcement, which came at a Murmansk meeting of the Public Council for the Safe Use of Nuclear Energy last week, marks the second major dismantlement project of a nuclear icebreaker that Russia has undertaken, the first of which is the...

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