Given the controversy of all things nuclear power in the post-Fukushima era, it was no surprise that the April launch of Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant (FNPP), the Akademik Lomonosov, drew polarizing responses immediately (in spite of the fact that its nuclear fuel was only loaded earlier this week). Russia’s state-owned nuclear utility Rosatom, claimed that the Akademik Lomonosov’s safety precautions exceed “all possible threats,” granting it “invincibility against natural disasters,” and highlighted the enhancements to economic development efforts in Russia’s far-flung territories. Conversely, environmental organizations like Greenpeace labeled the Akademik Lomonosov a “nuclear titanic” or “Chernobyl on ice,” a serious risk to the global environmental and human security. Observers ought to regard warily the sensationalist claims of advocates and opponents of FNPPs alike. Even so, it is difficult not to view Rosatom’s “invincibility” claim without incredulity.
The Diplomat 5th Oct 2018 read more »