Charles Digges

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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The Akademik Lomonosov puts in for further construction at the Baltic Shipyard. (Photo: Baltiisky Zavod).

Rosatom Offering Floating Nuclear Power to Sudan

By Charles Digges 2018-03-24 19:54:39

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, in an apparent effort to expand its portfolio of deals abroad, has said it will build a floating nuclear power plant for Sudan, the troubled central African country, which by many accounts is still in the grip of war that divided the nation in 2011. The announcement follows another agreement the company reportedly signed with Sudan to build a full-scale, four-reactor nuclear power plant, which the administration in Khartoum told the country’s official, non-independent media...

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K-159 under tow

Radiation Levels Around Sunken Russian Submarine Declared Safe

By Charles Digges 2018-02-04 18:39:37

A new report published by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority has said that radiation levels near a Russian nuclear submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in 2003 with 800 kilograms of uranium in its reactors isn’t putting out dangerous levels of radiation, though the group recommended that monitoring be continued. The report is based on measurements taken by a joint Norwegian-Russia crew that visited the site of the wreck three years ago, in 2014, and is part of ongoing...

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file photo

A Peek at Norway’s Environmental Hypocrisy

By Charles Digges 2018-01-29 18:01:10

Norway’s coalition government handed down a four year reprieve on oil drilling in the Lofoten Islands, but hedged that with defeat by awarding a record 74 oil drilling leases – nearly all of them in vulnerable areas – in its 2018 oil leasing process. It was a familiar bit of hypocrisy: While the government continues to enforce green policies at home, it packages up environmental threats and exports them to less concerned customers. Earlier this month Norways’ two-party government agreed...

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Lider

Russia Announces Plans for Space-Age Icebreakers

By Charles Digges 2018-01-03 07:53:45

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s colorful deputy prime minister, has again made headlines by claiming the country will build a series of advanced nuclear icebreakers that have long been considered a mere fantasy. Speaking to Tass, the official state newswire, before the end of the year, Rogozin said that Russia would build three Lider class nuclear icebreakers between 2023 and 2025, which would make navigation for commercial traffic in the Arctic possible all year long. These new icebreakers, dubbed project 10510, would...

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icebreaker

Rosatom to Take Over Arctic Development

By Charles Digges 2017-11-18 22:05:21

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin wants to turn infrastructure development for the Northern Sea Route – Russia’s fabled east-west passage through the Arctic to Asia – over to state nuclear corporation Rosatom, according to reports in the Kommersant business daily. The paper said that Putin assented to the idea, which was put to him by his prime minster, Dmitry Medvedev, and which would turn all state services for nautical activities, infrastructure development, as well as state property used along the corridor...

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