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Deploying Ocean Nuclear Energy Flotillas into International Waters for the Carbon Neutral Production of Synthetic Fuels, Industrial Chemicals, and Fertilizers

13 Feb 2019, 18:19 UTC
Deploying Ocean Nuclear Energy Flotillas into International Waters for the Carbon Neutral Production of Synthetic Fuels, Industrial Chemicals, and Fertilizers
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Artist’s rendition of the Russian floating nuclear power plant “Akademik Lomonosov” (Credit: SevMashZevod)by Marcel F. WilliamsFloating Nuclear ReactorsFloating nuclear reactors in the form of nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, and nuclear icebreakers have been in existence since 1953. And more than 12,000 reactor years of marine operations has been accumulated since the 1950s. Also, two American and seven former Soviet Union nuclear submarines have sunk into the ocean-- with their nuclear material-- because of accidents or extensive damage. So nuclear reactors are no strangers to the Earth's marine environment since the 1950s. Currently, more than 180 small reactors power more than 140 sea vessels in the Earth's oceans. In 1968, the US military deployed the first floating nuclear power reactor, the Sturgis (MH-1A). Supplying 10 megawatts of electric power to the Panama Canal Zone, the Sturgis operated without incident for over eight years until it reached the end of its service.Now, Russia has deployed its first floating nuclear power reactor. Recognizing the advantages of floating nuclear power plants, Russia plans to replace nuclear reactors located on land with the new floating reactors.China also has plans to develop and deploy 20 floating nuclear power plants of its own, the first destined for ...

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