While the threat of a meltdown is scary, and nuclear power is one of the best alternatives. But nuclear plants are also incredibly difficult and expensive to build. Even small nuclear plants can cost billions of dollars, making the investment much tougher. There’s a reason the U.S. has only built one nuclear plant in over 20 years.
One possible solution to this problem being pioneered by Russia is floating nuclear plants, built in a single location and sailed to where they’re needed. The world’s first such plant, called the Akademik Lomonosov, is , before heading to the remote city of Pevek in 2019.
The energy company that built the nuclear plant, the state-owned Rosatom Corporation, is primarily choosing to bring nuclear power to Pevek in this roundabout way because there’s no real alternative. Pevek is located on Russia’s east coast, far from pretty much everything else, so there’s no real way to build a giant nuclear plant there.
This could be the first of several floating nuclear plants built by the Rosatom Corporation, and such construction would have the benefit of reusing infrastructure from the Lomonosov.
This would follow a process similar to the one China is currently using to build cheap nuclear plants, reusing construction crews and designs. However, if Rosatom decides to get into this business they’d also have the advantage of reusing construction locations. This could provide a reliable and cost-effective source of electricity for a nation still highly dependent on fossil fuels.