Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Floating Nuclear Power Station

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the my-birthday-is-coming-up dept.


angrysponge writes " Russia to Build World's First Floating Nuclear Power Station for $200,000. I don't know what impresses me more, the engineering chutzpah or low-ball pricetag." From the article: "The mini-station will be located in the White Sea, off the coast of the town of Severodvinsk (in the Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia). It will be moored near the Sevmash plant, which is the main facility of the State Nuclear Shipbuilding Center. The FNPP will be equipped with two power units using KLT-40S reactors. The plant will meet all of Sevmash's energy requirements for just 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt. If necessary, the plant will also be able to supply heat and desalinate seawater."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered


European Water (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528333)

What happens when there is a melt down? You can't stop water from spreading to the rest of the world.

Funny that I can't find the word "safety" in the whole article.

Re:European Water (2, Funny)

DietCoke (139072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528415)

I just hope the company that makes this isn't the same company that makes their submarines.

"safety"? Bah. (1, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528536)

That's for wimps. Floating nuclear power is not for pansy-asses. You wanna know what we do when there's a meltdown? We hop on our jet-ski and ride around the disaster area with our geiger counter buzzing, posting photos to the internet, just like this biker babe [angelfire.com]. Who cares if we all die? At least we'll have floating nuclear power! Face it, if you don't build floating nuclear plants now, then Ralph Nader has already won.

First? (5, Insightful)

syukton (256348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528335)

I beg to differ. Aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines would be the first...


Bigby (659157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528367)

Exactly. Aircraft carriers and submarines have been nuclear powered for ages....and they certainly aren't walking on the ground.

Re:First? (1)

k512-arch (796444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528398)

Yeah yeah, but you can't discount the Russians for creating the first nuclear power STATION. I imagine that creates some new problems of its own, as well..

Power Station? (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528401)

You can certainly argue that a nuclear sub has a power station, or even that my car has a power station. However I think this article means "the sort of power station that sits on a grid"

Not very clear, but with a bit of qualification then their point probably stands.

Makes me wonder about htat little reactor that powered the US antartic ops.. It was probably on a boat yet did provide power to buildings and research facilities.

Re:Power Station? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528540)

Which (without having rtfa) is how they are probably doing it. How much less expensive would one of the small aircraft carriers be if you didn't have to worry about armour, weapons, gas storage, ammo storage, flight gear (elevator, etc) and so on? Build an anchor station similar to an oil rig for the boat to dock to, have the Big Cable going from the rig back to shore ...

Re:First? (4, Informative)

RGRistroph (86936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528426)

Actually you are right -- the first civilan nuclear power plant was a dry-docked nuclear sub in Pennsylvania.

Re:First? (5, Interesting)

kcb93x (562075) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528428)

Plus, with the sheer low cost ($200,000 for an output 1/50th of that of a normal Russian nuclear power plant...so the cost of these to equal a normal Russian nuclear plant would be $10,000,000) I think that $10 million is less than the cost of a normal nuclear power plant. Perhaps we should look at this design as well, I mean, evalute it for chrissakes!

We put nuclear power plants to sea all the time. Our aircraft carriers, our submarines, for the most part have gone completely nuclear. Why not, the military uses them. Let's take a look at this. 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt...daaaannnnng.

Heck, even if we don't use these as permanant plants, how about having a few of them as floaters, for rent to cities/owners of the power grid as needed? Oh, having an excessive heat wave $CITY ? Here, for $x.xx/kilowatt, with a minimum purchase of $XX,XXX, we'll add power to your grid.

Seriously...let's take a look at this.

Re:First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528613)

The $200,000 is way off. According to this [doe.gov] page from the DOE, this reactor is going to cost between $100 and $120 million. A tad more than $200,000.

My first post? (-1, Troll)

Pincus (744497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528337)

My first ever post is a first post. Good use of chutzpah.

Re:My first post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528349)

Haha sucks to be you.

Re:My first post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528589)

First ever post? Perhaps you should look at your own profile....and the fact that you missed first post.

Hydrogen wells... (2, Interesting)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528344)

.. Perhaps offshoring plants like this and using them to generate hydrogen + power?


Adantage? (2, Interesting)

FatalChaos (911012) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528346)

What is the advantage of the power plant floating on water? If anything, this will make it more dangerous.

Re:Adantage? (1)

Oliver_Fisher (807810) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528411)

Nuclear power needs a good heat sink. The sea is a giant heatsink. Perhaps thats the reason.

Re:Adantage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528441)


Even IF they have a meltdown the water would cool it off! Course the steam might be a prob. But still what an idea!

Also solves the 'not in my backyard' prob.

Re:Adantage? (2, Informative)

limon.verde (822978) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528412)

It can be towed away. In the article it says: "Russia will only sell its products - electric power, heat and fresh water. [snip] A floating plant under the Russian flag would be taken up to the coasts of states that had signed the necessary agreements. It would drop anchor in a convenient place [snip]. Then it would start up its reactors and - let there be light!"

After 12 years, it would be towed back home, leaving no nuclear materials behind. It's like selling fish instead of fishing nets.

long range power grid feeding (2, Insightful)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528352)

Can you build a cluster of these and feed the electricity into the power grid in instances like the US where our power grid is well developed?

Re:long range power grid feeding (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528394)

One thing this article was not clear on is the magnitude of any fallout. Does anyone have info on the nature and degree of any fallout from this proposed power station should the core be compromised?

Trolls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528354)

I always read at -1. The trolls on slashdot are hilarious!!! I love this place.

Re:Trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528410)

Yah, it is funny that you can read at the same level as your IQ.

Heh... (2, Funny)

fiendo (217830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528355)

Yeah, I think the U.S. has those too--they're called "nuclear submarines".

Re:Heh... (0, Flamebait)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528390)

Yeah, I think the U.S. has those too--they're called "nuclear submarines".

I believe $200,000 is a price of a toilet on one of those U.S. "nuclear submarines". Besides, I do not believe those nuclear subs power anything other than themselves.

Re:Heh... (1)

Anonymous Luddite (808273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528532)

Wait for the $200,000 price to climb.

These guys haven't built one. It sounds like they haven't even got anyone convinced to finance it yet. The sales pitch is great, but perhaps we should treat it with a little skepticism initially.

It might cost more and do less than advertised.

Re:Heh... (1)

fiendo (217830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528535)

And the subs can also defend themselves from pretty much anything, which is more than I can say for this Russian terrorist honeypot.

In other words, the cost of 200k is just the downpayment--your installment plan will kick in when the Chechens blow your terrorist honeypot skyhigh.

Re:Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528470)

We're talking Russian here. That should be "Nuclear Wessels".

Re:Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528605)

except the submarines don't power anything but themselves and the toilets alone cost $200,000. ;)

expensive (2, Funny)

RevengeOfPoopJuggler (872968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528356)

for just 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt

I hope they mean kilowatt-hour otherwise that is pretty damn expensive

it's a bomb in disguise. (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528442)

at 5c/kW this thing is going to output 200000/0.5 = 4GW of power.

I suspect chernobyl probably got close to that power output, just not for very long.

Re:it's a bomb in disguise. (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528530)

> this thing is going to output 200000/0.5 = 4GW of power.

>I suspect chernobyl probably got close to that power output, just not for very long.

I suspect chernobyl was capable of outputting an awful lot more. Oxfordshire has a plain old coal fired power station that is rated at 2GW.

Oh damn... (5, Funny)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528363)

Now electricity is being offshored. When's it going to end?

Re:Oh damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528425)

When's it going to end?
When the white man offshores himself and leave the continent to the Indians.

I Guess... (-1, Troll)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528368)

...the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters didn't teach anyone anything did they? Nuclear power is not and will never be safe. Period. End of story. Unless someone figures out how to un-radiate people and places that have suffered radiation exposure after another disaster. (They will happen repeatedly until people realize that nuclear energy is a stupid idea). Just because it might be relatively inexpensive doesn't mean it's good. Just like Walmart is bad for the average person...

Re:I Guess... (4, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528384)

Three Mile Island was hardly a disaster, and Chernobyl was a plant with a horrifically poor design by modern standards.

Just because you say nuclear energy is a bad idea doesn't make it so -- and of the alternatives, they either do far worse environmental damage or cannot practically be scaled to meet demand.

Re:I Guess... (4, Insightful)

Bigby (659157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528392)

Do you know anything about current nuclear technologies. You couldn't have a nuclear meltdown if you tried anymore. Plus, with pebble bed reactors, nuclear plants can be practically anywhere.

Many people are against Nuclear plants because of Chernobyl. Did you know that a coal plant releases more radiation outside its walls than a nuclear plant?

I guess it's people like you that are the reason no new plants (in the U.S.) have been built in decades.

Re:I Guess... (1)

steviechambers (912627) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528471)

I used to know a very smart and very frustrated nuclear engineer. Nuclear power is the best shot we've got of (1) generating enough power for our needs, and (2) avoiding coal/oil (and therefore dependencies on the producing countries). He knew nuclear technology inside out upside down, and he was a northern lad, completely down to earth, and if he told me that nuclear energy was the safest and best option, then I'm a believer - and pls don't anyone say that "he would say that, it was his job" - this guy was so smart he could do any type of engineering, and God knows he wasn't going to be a millionaire. Nuclear is the way forward - fission or fusion.

Re:I Guess... (4, Insightful)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528458)

Nuclear power is not and will never be safe.

Driving cars will never be completely safe either. The question is whether nuclear power can be made safe enough that the benefits outweigh the risks. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for the layman to evaluate those risks, so we either (i) say (rather illogically) that there are no circumstances where nuclear power can ever be justified; or (ii) have to rely on the word of experts who are usually not impartial.

Right now, in most countries, nuclear power seems not to be justified economically, and (while alternative energy sources usually also have a very negative environmental impact) nuclear power produces some seriously polluting byproducts. If those issues can be addressed, I would definitely be willing to consider the arguments as to the risks.

Don't be stupid. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528533)

Nuclear power is not and will never be safe.

By your logic, you must have burned to death this morning when the highly-flamable gasoline in your car spontaneously (1) leaked onto you and your children, and (2) caught fire, killing you almost instantly - because, as we all know - "gasoline power is not and never will be safe."

Also, you can burn to death if you climb into the oven - so we'd better ban them all. Same for power drills, so you won't accidentally give yourself another lobotomy.

My point is that there are a great number of very well designed machines and equipment in our lives that have nasty reactions or principals in their operation. Those devices are, however, designed to contain or negate the hazards.

Coal power plants burn coal and release carbon dioxide, sulphur, soot and - yes, radiation - directly into the air that you breathe. (FYI, coal plants release more radiation from the coal they burn than nuclear plants, which are designed to internalise all radioactive materials). They pollute and contribute to cancer rates by design.

Strangely nobody (ie: you) seems to really care about coal pollution since burning coal on the fire is an understandable technology that someone can do in their own back yard and never killed nobody (except thousands of coal miners over the centuries, but who cares since we can't see them). Unlike nuclear technology which contains the world "nuclear" in the title and will therefore definitely turn large swathes of the country into a post-Little Boy Hiroshima within 15 seconds of being turned on.

But in reality, nuclear power plants are designed to contain radiation (duh). The old designs were still safe by most measures, but modern pebble-bed nuclear reactor designs take it to extremes. (1) they're far simpler than old pile designs and (2) they're *physically unable* to melt down and go critical - even if the cooling fluid is pumped out completely. The electrical output will drop off and will just.. sit there. Happily doing nothing. Aww, lookkit it. It's happy. Wave back.

If you jump naked into the nuclear reactor core, yes, you'd have some fatal health problems - but the same would happen if you jumped into a conventional furnace.

Please get over your irrational fears.

Safety (3, Interesting)

greening (146061) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528369)

Just out of curiousity, what would happen if something big were to happen in the area of the floating power plant (something like Katrina, etc.)?

Re:Safety (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528402)

What if an aircraft carrier or submarine was destroyed? Well, it seems that those are taken care of. I think the engineers have somewhat of a brain.

Re:Safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528506)

maybe but the first two can get out of the way in time

Re:Safety (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528513)

"Well, it seems that those are taken care of. I think the engineers have somewhat of a brain."

Riiiiight, Russians never fuck up with nukes. Are you daft?

Re:Safety (2, Insightful)

niXcamiC (835033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528438)

Just out of curiousity, what would happen if something big were to happen in the area of the floating power plant (something like Katrina, etc.)?
Hurricanes are tropical/semi-tropical storms, this plant is being built in the white sea. think about it.

Re:Safety (1)

RobertF (892444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528544)

Well, if it's built to survive an impact by a commercial jet aircraft, then I think it's good. Besides, at most what would a hurrican do (That is, if a tropical storm were to travel over land, into arctic waters and retain its strength)? Sink it? The russians know a thing or two about sunken nuclear ships...

Interesting power delivery concept. (1)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528371)

These guys seem to have borrowed some ideas from the latest electronics & software releases. They claim the plants will be operated as a service where russia retains the ownership, control of the plant and the like while the power plant is just hooked up to the grid of the native country. It's also pretty amazing that the cost of this plant is estimated to be $200,000. That's pocket money compared to the sums spent on current stations (although this one does claim to be 'small').

Re:Interesting power delivery concept. (1)

FatalChaos (911012) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528468)

Well its possible if they bought all the parts from RUSSIAN companies that it would be this small, b/c 200k american dollars is a huge amount in russia.

too good to be true (1)

eean (177028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528620)

Yea, it is awfully amazing that a nuclear power plant is $200,000. You can't even get a shack in Mountain View, CA for $200,000. This has to be to good to be true. Or its not $200,000 USD, but some other measure (there's 28 rubles to the USD, so thats not the case).

First? (4, Informative)

sanctimonius hypocrt (235536) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528393)

How about the Sturgis [army.mil], a "440-foot-long World War II Liberty ship that the Army converted into a floating 45-megawatt nuclear power plant."

More about Unique Reactors [doe.gov]

Re:First? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528624)

440-foot-long World War II Liberty ship
They put a reactor on the type of ship that is the textbook example of poor design due to cutting corners? Those ships are famous for cracking in half and sinking.

$200K??? (4, Insightful)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528397)

How is that possible? You can't even buy a one bedroom condo for that in a major city! Must be a misprint, or due to government subsidy.

Re:$200K??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528421)

What they don't tell you is that this is in 1930 dollars.

Re:$200K??? (1)

J Mack Daddy (774273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528488)

Easy, real-estate in the middle of the sea off the coast of a third-world nation is cheaper than that in a major city...

Re:$200K??? (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528491)

You could if there was a nuclear powerplant in one of the bedrooms.

Not that I disagree with you, I'm just saying...

Re:$200K??? (4, Funny)

g0at (135364) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528502)

Must be a misprint, or due to government subsidy

You're suggesting that the Russian Federal Nuclear Energy Agency (government) is being subsidized by the government?


Go Russkies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528399)

I'm not sure what they do if a significant chuck of ice floats their direction. I guess just shut the bloody thing down, you know?

All the, uh, "Chernobyl" stuff got worked out. They ain't using plants to make plutonium bombs anymore. It's too bad, too, because that was one hell of a breeder reactor. One Chernobyl could've supplied all of Europe and America with enough plutonium to run hundreds of reactors.

Anyway, it's a good idea for the environment that it's in. Wouldn't work out, say, off the coast of Louisiana or Flordia.

Go Russkies!

Today's Nuclear Power (4, Insightful)

quark101 (865412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528404)

is actually very safe. Because of tremendous advances in both safety and efficiency, nuclear power is actually a very viable alternative to fossil fuels for power generation. However, due to very high profile disasters (ala 3-Mile Island and Chernobyl), the American public is deathly afraid of just the idea. In contrast, I know that France supplies a large part of the power through the use of these more modern generators, and to my knoweledge, there have been no problems.

Re:Today's Nuclear Power (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528447)

Well gosh, we may have made parts of the world unliveable for decades to come in the past, but this time we've got the problem licked. You can trust our figures: we've got a vested interest in selling nuke plants!

Sorry for the sarcasm; I'd really like to see something replace our fossil fuel dependencies, and I'm even willing to consider the long-term problems that nuke plants saddle us with in exchange for it.

But many people are deathly afraid of the idea with good reason: when nuke plants fail they fail really, really badly. And the people who are telling us they're safe now told us the same things when they built the first generation of nuke plants.

So what I'm saying is: I'm willing to be convinced, but it'll take a lot of work.

Re:Today's Nuclear Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528527)

But many people are deathly afraid of the idea with good reason: when nuke plants fail they fail really, really badly

So? Coal plants do that when operating as designed. They just look better on CNN while they kill people, that's all.

Re:Today's Nuclear Power (2, Interesting)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528615)

I'm willing to be convinced, but it'll take a lot of work.

Well, I doubt it, although perhaps I am being overly cynical with respect to you personally.

My experience is that all that is required for people to rapidly abandon principle is a steep rise in the expense of maintaining that principle. It's amazing how clever people are about talking themselves into a new universal principle when the old one runs up against sheer basic personal need.

So, let the price of electricity from fossil fuels rise a factor of 10 or so, and I think we'll be amazed at how little work it will take to convince people formerly passionately opposed to nuclear power to accept it.

Breeder reactors are the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528619)

Instead of the current American policy (enacted by Jimmy Carter, who to his credit is a nuclear engineer) of using and disposing of reactor cores, we need to build breeder reactors to get the most use out of all the uranium and plutonium.

Jimmy banned them for fear of nuclear proliferation. We need to address the proliferation issue directly, instead of just passing it off to Russia like we did in the 70's.

France's Nuclear Plants are on the German border (1, Funny)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528522)

Most of France's Nuclear Plants are on the German border so that they can sell excess power to Germany and other North Central European countries.
    Plus if the Germans ever invade again, they can just pop out the drain plugs and hop on the TGV to San Tropez.

Re:Today's Nuclear Power (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528539)

France ... to my knoweledge, there have been no problems
The incident with liquid sodium killing a few people during decommissioning of a nuclear plant in France got some press at the time.

Nuclear Power (1)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528579)

is the new fire, we've only recently understood how to avoid being burned.

The earlier technologies were like playing with matches, the newer stuff like pebble bed reactors are like a small campfire.

We're getting there, gradually.

Radiation shielding (2, Interesting)

Crixus (97721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528419)

They've obviously opted not to go with that expensive and heavy lead stuff, and use recycled aluminum foil. :-)

Cheap Price (1, Insightful)

Maxwell42 (594898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528423)

We all know why it is that cheap...

They already have all the nuclear material floating or sunken in the area :)

Floating? (2, Funny)

drsquare (530038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528430)

Obviously they're short of land in Russia...

Re:Floating? (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528484)

Obviously they're short of land in Russia...

Hehe, one big benefit I can see is portability - the plant is built in one spot and tugged to its location and, if need be, can be moved to another location. US been talking about reactors like this mounted on trucks for same reason (was on ./ a while back)

Other benefit is easy acccess to salt water for desalinization, which is another service this plant provides.

Better Games Are the Answer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528446)

Well, this floating nuclear Playstation may have better graphics and may be more ergonomic, but it's not going to make the games any better...

Fitting location (4, Interesting)

rxmd (205533) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528448)

Severodvinsk on the White Sea is a major nuclear disaster area. There are a number of nuclear submarine repair sites there. This power plant is probably either a former submarine reactor or built from one.

My wife's uncle used to serve as chief engineer on Soviet and later Russian nuclear submarines. He still lives near Severodvinsk and says that the overall radiation level at those sites is higher than in Chernobyl. He managed to have two healthy children and asked both of them to study and work somewhere else.

Thats because (1)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528560)

if you live with a constantly higher radiation level your body adjusts within a certain range and switches into a mode where it can repair a greater level of constant damage. The real injury occurs when radiation levels suddenly spike without your body having a chance to gradually adapt to it.

strange article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528489)

It seems to be more of a commercial than a actual article. First there is the price tag, what is up with that?
then there are lines like this: "When the plant is decommissioned and pulled out, it leaves absolutely no pollution,"
of course not they move it somewhere else, but there are still lots of radioactive material to deal with.

More info on the KLT-40S (4, Informative)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528490)

From: http://www.nuclear.com/n-plants/index-Floating_N-p lants.html [nuclear.com] :

* A floating nuclear power plant design, under development by OKBM in Russia, uses the KLT-40s reactor system, and involves a "special-purpose non-self-propelled ship" (a barge) intended for operation in a protected water area. There are plans to build a nuclear heat and power generating plant with a floating power-generating unit in the area of Pevek, Chukot Peninsula, in northeastern Siberia, and in Severodvinsk (Archangelsk region). The technical and economic characteristics of this power plant are:
* Electric power - 60 MW
* Heat output - 50 Gcal/h
* Number of reactor systems and main turbogenerators - 2
* Overall plant lifetime - 40 years

These power plants are multipurpose in terms of possible applications, since they provide electric power generation while also providing heat supply for various purposes, including seawater desalination.

[Source: Georgy M. Antonovsky (Chief Specialist, OKBM-the Experimental and Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) et al., Table IV - "Technical and economic characteristics of a floating nuclear power station with the KLT-40s", in "PWR-type reactors developed by OKBM", Nuclear News, March 2002, p. 33]

* The KLT-40s is based on the KLT-40, which the US DOE has called a proven, commercially available, small PWR system because its design is based entirely on the nuclear steam supply system used in Russian icebreakers. The KLT-40 is a portable, floating, nuclear power plant intended mainly for electric power generation, but it also possesses the capability for desalination or heat production. The reactor core is cooled by forced circulation of pressurized water during normal operation, but in all emergency modes, the design relies mainly on natural convection in the primary and secondary coolant loops.

The KLT-40 is mounted on a barge, complete with the nuclear reactor, steam turbines, and other support facilities. It is designed to be transported to a remote location and connected to the energy distribution system in a manner similar to the Mobile High Power nuclear power plant operated by the U.S. Army in the 1970s. The designer and supplier of the KLT-40 is the Russian Special Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering (OKBM).

Fuel for the KLT-40 is a uranium-aluminum metal alloy clad with a zirconium alloy. 200 kg of U-235 gives a core power density of 155 kW per liter on average (that's relatively high for a reactor, according to the DOE report), and the fuel may be high-enriched uranium (U-235 content at or above 20 percent). The fuel assembly structure and manufacturing technology are proven, and its reliability has been verified by the long-term operation of similar cores.

The KLT-40's primary system involves four coolant pumps feeding four steam generators. The secondary system uses two turbogenerators with condensate pumps, main and standby feed pumps, and two steam condensers. As much as 35 MWt energy can be transferred from the condensers to a desalination plant via an intermediate circuit.

The KLT-40 includes a steel containment vessel designed to withstand overpressure conditions. A passive-pressure suppression system condenses steam that might escape into the containment building.

The KLT-40 has a variety of "inherent safety characteristics". One involves the prodigious use of "burnable poison" in the fuel such that cold shutdowns are assured (because any increase in core temperature results in a lowering of core power -- it's what's called having a large negative temperature coefficient for the reactor core).

The KLT-40 is designed using a plug-and-play philosophy. It gets built at the factory and is able to be transported over water to remote locations. Although the KLT-40 requires refueling every two to three years, the transportability of the entire plant to maintenance centers provides enhanced proliferation-resistance, the DOE said.

Designer: OKBM
Type: PWR
Rating: 35 MWe
Primary system pressure: 13 MPa
Reactor vessel Height: 3.9 m
Reactor vessel Diameter: 2.2 m
Reactor sore Height: 0.95 m
Reacor core Diameter: 1.2 m
Avg. power density: 155 kW/1
Fuel/type: U-Al alloy
Refueling frequency (percent replaced): 2-3 years (100%)
Coolant flow rate: 722 kg/s
Core inlet temperature: 278 deg. C
Core outlet temperature: 318 deg. C

[Source: Nuclear News, "Study outlines reactor designs that may be ready for deployment by decade's end", August 2001, p. 25]

Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528493)

This is great news. Rather than getting yet another house I think I will upgrade this one with a Nuclear generator in my garage.

Back when I was a lad ... (4, Funny)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528498)

I remember during the "energy crisis" of the early seventies, one of our colleagues at a Navy laboratory that happened to be near a submarine base suggested that we tap into the multi-megawatt output of docked nuclear subs to supply some of our lab's power. Needless to say, the "no nukes" eco-freaks that worked at the lab came unglued. I never knew if he was serious or just trying to get a rise out of people. If the latter, it certainly worked.

Why bother when you can use batteries? (1)

apule (913924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528507)

The British figured out the source of easy power months ago: D-cells [guardian.co.uk]. (Via [strangeproportion.com] Strange Proportion.

Meltdown ain't the safety issue.. (1)

Sefert (723060) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528509)

It's not the risk of a Chernobyl type reaction that's the issue. It's the nuclear waste. Where the hell do you put something that will never stop being incredibly dangerous? This is a problem that has never been resolved, and still has no solution in the offing.

Re:Meltdown ain't the safety issue.. (4, Informative)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528602)

Never? The more radioactive the waste, the faster it decays. Did you know that US standards say that if a piece of Granite were taken into a nuclear facility, it would be considered waste? Why? It's too radioactive. Yes, the stuff people make kitchen counters out of. This isn't to say you can bury the stuff for 20 years and it will be significantly less hazardous, but it can at least be contained, unlike the output from a coal fired power plant.

Final point, NEVER, EVER use absolute statements to make a point as exceptions will always bite you in the ass.

Atlantic Generating Station (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528514)

You laugh, but in the early '70s, the US very nearly built the Atlantic Generating Station, a nuke plant in the shallow waters just off Atlantic City, NJ. The Russians are using a very similar design.

I would think that the USA... (1)

xxdinkxx (560434) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528515)

I would think that the usa would be all over this project. I don't see how this could be potically good for russia to develop-- if they are just going to sell it off to china as the article suggest. and at $200,000 for a 1/50th the output of a normal Nuclear Powerstation, that is still disturbing. My quetion is, can this thing turn those rods into wepon grade plutonium? Surely, this project is going to be controversial. Also, what are they going to do with the waste. Please don't tell me they are going to drop it in a canister and let the ocean take it from there. The list goes on and on.

Hooray! (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528528)

This is the shit we need more of. This and electric cars. Then we can stop bombing the third world for our oil.


$200k ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528541)

You couldn't even buy the barge for $200k that the reactor complex would sit on.

The only important thing about this whole story is the cost, and it is rediculous.

Leakage (1)

fsterman (519061) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528546)

While meltdowns are a rather remote danger given todays nuclear power plant designs I worry about waste contamination. There are already plenty of Russian nuclear subs sitting in the ocean. They have cracks, which water gets into, which freezes, which increases the size of the crack. How do they plan to make sure the waste transfers are 300% safe and what happens to this thing if the economy dies again? It's a lot easier to pull a sub on land than a large scale power plant. Think removing oil from the water is tough?

It's not $200,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528548)

The cost is probably $200,000,000 dollars or not in american currency.

If it was only $200,000 some rich /. hoser would fund it!

Hot Water (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528555)

Russia spent the last few decades of its Soviet era dumping spent navy nuclear cores into the arctic sea. I've never heard of any accountability for that egregious poisoning of the most productive biome on the planet. So it's clear that they're learning from their successes.

And any reporter who doesn't realize that a "kilowatt" is a rate of energy over time has zero credibility - they're a PR agent. They're selling nuclear power that's "too cheap to measure", which we all know is the kind of like that sells nukes to people who spend the rest of our lives paying for the construction, security and cleanups.

Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13528565)

In the Soviet Union the floating Nuclear power plant has you!

Take out a Loan! (1)

RobertF (892444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13528567)

Hmm... buy a house or a floating nuclear power station? At $200,000 I could finally have a nuclear-powered toaster!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account