The world’s first floating nuclear power plant, the "Akademik Lomonosov", started its voyage on Saturday, 28 of April 2018, from St. Petersburg. "Akademik Lomonosov" will be owned by the state-controlled Rosatom.
The "Akademik Lomonosov" will go from St. Petersburg through the Baltic Sea and around Norway to Murmansk. In Murmansk, it will be loaded with nuclear fuel and tested at a few kilometres distance from nearly 300-thousand inhabitants.
Rosatom planned to load fuel and test the vessel in St. Petersburg. However, after a petition was signed by twelve-thousand St.Petersburg citizens, Rosatom changed its loading plans to a less densely populated area.
Having reached Murmansk, a city of 300,000, the "Akademik Lomonosov" will be fuelled, tested and, in 2019, towed 5,000 km through the Northern Sea Route and put to use near Pevek, in the Chukotka Region.
Jan Haverkamp, nuclear expert for Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe, stated:
"To test a nuclear reactor in a densely populated area like the centre of St. Petersburg is irresponsible to say the least. However, moving the testing of this ‘nuclear Titanic’ away from the public eye will not make it less so: Nuclear reactors bobbing around the Arctic Ocean will pose a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment which is already under enormous pressure from climate change."
The vessel will be the first of a fleet of floating nuclear power stations to be stationed in the Russian Arctic. Rosatom recently received the mandate to manage all shipping and development along the Northern Sea Route.