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Floating Nuclear Plant news

January 13, 2006

3-MW - 40-MW Floating Nuclear Plant construction to start this year

Rosatom has established, under Rosenergoatom, a directorate of floating nuclear power plants under construction. The former deputy presidential representative in the Volga Federal District, Sergey Obozov, has been appointed director of this department and deputy director-general of Rosatom. The cost of the building of a floating NPP with a capacity of 3 MW amounts to just 20m dollars. The service life of such floating NPPs is 50 years. Fuel is reloaded once every 10-12 years. Rosatom noted that "the [degree of] enrichment of uranium in fuel for such floating NPPs is less than 20 per cent, which meets the IAEA's [International Atomic Energy Agency] requirements on non-proliferation and ensures the possibility of export use of such plants by Russia".

[Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, "Russia to start building floating nuclear power plant in 2006", January 12, 2006 1109 gmt, translated from the Russian and titled by BBC Monitoring]

October 4, 2005

Floating n-plants touted for oil rigs

Mock-ups of small-size land-based, underground, and floating nuclear plants are amongst the exhibitions of nuclear industry equipment at World Trade Center in Moscow this week. A Rosatom expert reportedly told Itar-TASS that, in addition to supplying energy for remote towns and desalination of water, floating plants are suitable as "sources of power supply at oil-extracting platforms in the open sea".

[Ref: Itar-Tass, "Russia's 1st nuclear industry eqt exhibition to open in Moscow", October 4, 2005]

September 9, 2005

* Russia building a floating nuclear plant

Russia plans to build a first of its kind small nuclear power plant that will float in the northern White Sea, and would generate 1/150th of the power produced by a standard Russian nuclear power plant, MosNews reported Friday. Construction could begin in 2006 if the project finds financing, The mini-nuclear station would be moored near the Sevmash plant, which is the main facility of the State Nuclear Shipbuilding Center, and 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.

The Russian News Agency RIA Novosti added: The proposed plant will have the capacity to supply energy to a town with a population of 200,000. If the entire capacity of the plant is switched over to desalinization, it will be able to produce 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water a day. "If conditions are favorable, the floating plant could be operational in four to five years' time," said Yevgeny Kuzin, general director of the public joint-stock company Malaya Energetika. By "conditions" Kuzin, who is the project leader, means funding. The nuclear "baby" will cost about $200,000. Kuzin says that it will be hard to secure the necessary money. Russian businessmen have become used to making quick returns on their investments, and few are prepared to wait for long-term returns. Indonesia, Malaysia, and China have all shown interest in the project. The proposed plant will therefore also act as a prototype that can be seen by potential foreign customers.

Talk of a new nuclear facility is always greeted with a degree of skepticism. But the designers of the plant say that the technological principles underlying the project have been proven during the 30 years that Russia's civilian nuclear-powered ice-breaking fleet has operated on the Northern Sea Route. Kuzin says these vessels have shown themselves to be highly reliable and that they do not have any kind of radioactive impact on the environment. "When the plant is decommissioned and pulled out, it leaves absolutely no pollution," he said.

Potential terrorist threats were also taken into account when designing the plant's security system. The latest scientific and technological advances in this field have been incorporated to prevent unauthorized access to fissile materials aboard the plant. Among other things, fingerprint and iris identification technologies will be used. The plant will also be protected against possible subversive attempts by terrorist divers. Much thought has been given to protecting the plant from external factors. For example, if an airliner, even one as big as a Boeing, were to fall on the plant, there is no way it would destroy the reactor.

Does Russia plan to sell this floating nuclear plant to other countries? "Of course not," Kuzin said. "Russia will only sell its products - electric power, heat and fresh water. This means that there is no cause for concern with respect to the proliferation of nuclear technologies. 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 that was protected from potential natural disasters and contact local engineering services on the shore. Then it would start up its reactors and - let there be light!"

The plant will save up to 200,000 metric tons of coal and 100,000 tons of fuel oil a year. It will be fully supported by the infrastructure of the Russian nuclear industry, and will be serviced by rotating teams. The reactors will be loaded with nuclear fuel once every three years and will have a lifespan of 40 years. Every 12 years the plant will be sent home and overhauled.

[Ref: Tatiana Sinitsyna, "Russia to build the world's first floating nuclear power plant", RIA Novosti, Sept 8, 2005]

September 6, 2005

Russia-China n-cooperation talks include floating plants

Cooperation on the construction of floating nuclear power plants is one of the agenda items this week for the Russian-Chinese sub-commission on nuclear issues. The session will also discuss the schedule for the construction of the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in China, the construction in China of a reactor for the fast breeder plant, and science and technical cooperation in the conversion sphere. Rosatom head Alexander Rumyantsev chairs the Russian section of the sub-commission and Zhang Yunchuan, the head of the Chinese Scientific and Technological Industry Committee of National Defense, heads the Chinese delegation.

[Ref: RIA Novosti, "Russia, China to discuss construction of Tianwan NPP", September 6, 2005]

July 30, 2005

Floating plant by 2011, Russia sez

Russia's Federal Nuclear Energy Agency has said it will complete the first of several floating nuclear plants by 2011 and put it into operation at the northern port of Severodvinsk, on the White Sea. Construction will start next year. Each 70-megawatt plant is designed to last 40 years and will cost about $200 million US. The far eastern regions of Kamchatka and Chukotka -- governed by oil tycoon Roman Abramovich -- have already signed up for one each. China signed an $86.5 million US deal this week to build the boat for the first one, while Russia will construct the reactor block. Russia also plans to export plants to China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Middle East and Canada. The plants will likely be assembled in St. Petersburg before being towed to their destinations around the coast. Environmental groups say the power plants will be an unprecedented environmental and security hazard because they will be moored in remote ports and will be hard to reach in the event of an accident or terrorist attack. "We're very concerned -- you'll have an environmental, a security and a proliferation risk," said Nils Boehmer, head of the Russia group at Bellona, an environmental group based in Norway.

Russian nuclear officials, who have been promoting the idea for 15 years, say the plants will have extra safety features to prevent radiation leaks and to resist even a Sept. 11, 2001-style terrorist attack. "Leakage won't occur even if a plane or a helicopter crashes into the floating block," said Vladimir Uryvsky, the deputy department head at the Federal Nuclear Energy Agency. "This construction comes with a 100-per-cent safety guarantee."

The Times' sidebar called it "Russia's ultimate powerboat".

[Ref: Jeremy Page, "Safety fear overruled for Putin's floating reactors", Times of London, July 30, 2005, p. 39]

July 28, 2005

Russia and China sign $86.5-million contract for construction of floating nuclear plant

Russia and China have signed an $86.5-million contract for the construction of the world's first floating nuclear power plant, Vladimir Uryvsky, deputy department head at the Federal Nuclear Energy Agency, told the newspaper Trud. China will build the body and Russia will be responsible for the power block. The plant will look like a ten-story 140m-long and 30m-wide floating building with the displacement of 21,000 tons. It is to be sited in Severodvinsk, in the Arkhangelsk region in Russia's European north, to supply electricity and heat to the Sevmash defense enterprise there. It will have a 70-megawatt capacity and a maximum thermal capacity of 150 gigacalories per hour, enough for a city of 200,000. The construction is to begin next year and end in 2011. Uryvsky said the 6-billion ruble ($208.84 million) project would be recouped in 12 years with electricity returns of 46 billion rubles and thermal energy returns of 61 billion. Accrued profits are expected to top 65 billion rubles during the plant's life. The plant will use a closed cycle and multiple hermetic protection. The energy block will have five independent safety barriers, more than those on a nuclear submarine or icebreaker. Even the first stationary nuclear power plants did not have such protection. The block could not even be depressurized if a plane crashed down on it, giving the design full safety guarantee, Uryvsky said. The design also includes anti-terrorist measures, Uryvsky said. Divers and submersible craft will be stopped a long distance from the power block. The leaders of the nuclear energy sector and the administrations of the Chukotka autonomous area and the Kamchatka region have signed declarations of intentions on the construction of similar power plants. Canada, Indonesia, India and several other countries have expressed interest in the project.

[Ref: RIA Novosti, "Russia, China to start building floating nuclear plant", July 28, 2005]

Rosatom approves construction of floating nuclear plant

In June, Rosatom's executive committee approved construction of a floating nuclear plant, although the project is as yet unfunded. The $180-million estimated cost, including $30-million already spent on design, represents an 8-year payback period, according to Rosenergoatom. Funding options have been discussed several times in the Duma and by the Russia's Naval Collegium. Russian banks have shown no interest in the project. Rosatom has suggested that the Ministry of Economic Development include the floating plant among state priority projects and finance it over 2006-2008 -- and its executive committee asked Rosenergoatom to submit a schedule and conclude contracts by Oct. 31 for construction of floating plant and coastal infrastructure for an ATES MM cogeneration plant at SevMash naval station in Severodvinsk. The design uses the KLT-40S reactor, which is based on the small PWRs long used to power Russian icebreakers. The design allows for generating 70 megawatts of electric power and 140 gigacalories of heat. It could also be used for desalination. Platts cites promoters claims that the design could supply heat and power to a northern town of 50,000 or fresh water to a similar-size southern town, and could be operated for 12 to 15 years without refueling. Platts also reports that a new core design is being developed, to meet requirements for proliferation resistance, by the OKBM design bureau in Nizhny-Novgorod. On the subject of safety, Platts cited Oleg Samoilov, senior designer of OKBM, as saying that the floating plant has enhanced safety features and that even the worst-case accident would require no protective measures beyond a one-kilometer radius.

[Ref: Alexei Breus and Ann MacLachlan, "Rosatom approves construction of floating nuclear power plant", Nucleonics Week, July 28, 2005, p. 7]

June 30, 2005

Russian design draft for 600-MW floating nuclar plant

Although the first floating nuclear plants could be constructed with a 70-megawatt capacity on the basis of icebreaker reactors, a draft design for a station with a 600-megawatt capacity has already been developed, according to Oleg Samoilov, chief designer at the Afrikantov R&D machine-building bureau.

[Ref: RIA Novosti, "Floating nuclear power plants to resolve regional energy problems", June 30, 2005]

June 14, 2005

Russia - floating nuclear plant construction to begin in 2006

The Sevmash defense shipyard based in Severodvinsk will start building the world's first floating nuclear power and heating plant in 2006, head of the Sevmash press service Mikhail Starozhilov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. He said Rosenergoatom had received permission to base the power and heating plant in Severodvinsk. "A state commission said that the project would be efficient. The plant will produce 70 megawatt of electricity and 140 giga-calories of thermal energy. It can also distill sea water," Starozhilov said.

[Ref: Vladimir Anufriyev, "Floating nuke power and heating plant to be built in Russia", TASS, June 14, 2005]

May 26, 2005

"a new direction in the development of the atomic energy"

Russia will construct the world's first floating nuclear power plant, according to an official from the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy. "Floating nuclear power plants may become a new direction in the development of the atomic energy," said the official Thursday. Funding may come from a variety of sources: commercial banks may extend credits against government guarantees; or credits from the federal budget could be extended to countries interested in the project. "The first floating power plant may be constructed in five years." Russia is looking to construct the plant in the Severodvinsk region, an area in western Russia well-known for its nuclear facilities. The plant is expected to have a capacity of 70 megawatts, enough "to provide cities with a population of 50,000 people with heat and electricity in northern regions and with fresh water in southern regions facing fresh water deficiency," noted the official. The plant is expected to cost $180 million. "Thirty million dollars have been already spent on the development of the project," added the official. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said: "China, Indonesia and some countries of the Mediterranean and Middle East demonstrate interest in the implementation of that unique project."

Experts say the power plant will recoup the investment in eight years. Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said that, in order to attract foreign investments for batch production of small floating nuclear power plants, "it is necessary that Russia builds at least one such unit at home". All countries interested in that project insist on that. Rumyantsev is confident that the plants are absolutely safe and ecologically clean. Reactors they will have are similar to those mounted on Russian nuclear submarines and icebreakers. "The reactors retrieved from the nuclear submarine Kursk were in working condition and they could be launched at full capacity," ministry experts stressed.

[Ref: TASS, "First ever floating nuke power plant to be built in Russia", May 26, 2005]

May 21, 2005

Russian floating nuclear plant project is ready to go

Rosenergoatom Director-General Stanislav Antipov told a news conference in St Petersburg today that a project for the construction of a floating nuclear power station in Arkhangelsk Region has been fully worked out. "The project is ready and we are currently selecting a dockyard at which they will build the actual hull of the barge for the subsequent assembly of the nuclear power plant," he said. He added that Rosenergoatom "is currently looking for sources of finance to implement the project". "Our own specified funds are insufficient, so we are looking for investment funds elsewhere." He did not rule out that the project would be partially implemented from the federal budget, and added that it was also planned to attract credits from Russian and foreign banks.

[Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, "Russian Project For Floating Nuclear Power Plant Runs Short Of Cash", May 21, 2005 1343 gmt (translated from the Russian by BBC Monitoring)]

February 28, 2005

The first floating nuclear plant will lead to sales of others

Rosatom chief Alexander Rumyantsev told a Novosti news conference that "Our colleagues all over the Pacific region are asking us to show them the floating plant in action. When they see it, they will willingly purchase similar plants by series... We have thoroughly blueprinted a floating nuclear plant [based on] Russian icebreaker reactors. We have spent a round sum on the endeavor, and we need 150 million US dollars to build the plant. The project is of tremendous interest, and we are looking for capital investors. We think we shall attract the banking world to it," he said.

[Ref: RIA Novosti, "Rosatom calls investors to finance floating nuclear plants", February 28, 2005]

November 20, 2004

Chile might be good prospect as customer for floating nuclear plant

Russia may suggest selling a floating nuclear power station to Chile, according to Russian Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref. "Chile doesn't need big and powerful power units but it may need small aggregates like floating nuclear power stations, for example," Gref said. He clarified that Chile didn't have any nuclear energy projects so far. However, Russia has launched marketing research to study the possibility of cooperation in the peaceful use of the atom. The minister noted that no official talks had begun as of yet.

[Ref: TASS, "Russia may offer to sell floating nuclear power station to Chile", November 20, 2004]

October 28, 2004

"Folly" is what Jacksonville remembers about floating n-plants

Jacksonville, Florida has plans for a new courthouse. All the cost estimates and promises thus far apparently have no basis in actual construction estimates. The contractor is a week late in submitting a proposed guaranteed maximum price. This article notes that "There was a time in Jacksonville's history that the words 'floating nuclear power plants' were associated with folly. Now it's 'courthouse'."

[Ref: Ronald L. Littlepage, "Peyton should take the escape route on courthouse", Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), October 28, 2004, p. B7]

August 13, 2004

China wants to partner with Russia on floating nuclear plant

In December 2003, Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said that Russia would build its first floating nuclear power plant in three to five years, adding that construction would probably cost U.S. USD 180 million, and that USD 70 million had already been spent on the planning of the plant. It would take such a plant about eight years to break even, he said at the time. "The plant could be moved, for example, to Indonesia, via the Northern Sea Route," and then could be returned via the same route, he noted at the time, adding that "If nobody buys the plant, it will be used to provide our city of Severodvinsk with power and heat."

Now, Rumyantsev told ITAR-TASS, China has proposed to build a floating platform for a Russian-constructed reactor and deliver it by sea to Russia's northern coast. The two countries have not yet reached a specific agreement on the issue, Rumyantsev said.

[Ref: TASS, "Russia, China consider building first floating nuclear plant", Prime-Tass English-language Business Newswire, August 13, 2004]

March 23, 2004

* Floating nuclear plant - Rosenergoatom to devote 30-million ruples this year to Sino-Russia project

July 23, 2003

Russia floating nuclear plant -- on your mark, ready, set, ... set, ... set ... Russian company Rosenergoatom may get financing from China to construct a floating nuclear plant to built at Severodvinsk shipyard. China could finance from half to all of the US$145 million construction. The company is bullish on the prospects for floating plants, because they could claim a large share of the fast-growing global desalination market. Their mobility would allow them to provide fresh water and electricity to coastal areas in Asia and Africa. Associated Press cites a company insider, who asked to remain anonymous, as saying that Chinese officials have offered a loan for the project. China may build the barges used for the plants. If the first plant turns out to be safely operated, China may be interested in joining in more such deals. There have been many "green lights" announced for Russia's floating nuclear plant project recently, but construction has not yet begun.

[Ref: Associated Press, "Russia, China may cooperate in building floating nuclear power plants", The Russia Journal, July 23, 2003 11:59 GMT]

April 28, 2003

Indonesia to try FNP?

Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry offered Indonesia an experimental 48-megawatt floating nuclear plant. The plant would be capable of moving to different parts of the archipelago when more electricity is temporarily needed. Such a plant, complete by the year 2015, is expected to cost some $200-300-million to build. Construction would be done in Indonesia, under supervision of Russian specialists. Russian and Indonesian representatives have reportedly held provisional talks and intergovernmental documents are being drafted for signing. [Source:Ria OREANDA Economic News (Russia), "Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry Sells Indonesia Experimental Floating Nuclear Plant", April 24, 2003]


Russia approves FNP

* Russia's Ministry of Nuclear Power approved a project to construct a two-unit floating nuclear plant, each with a capacity of 70 MW, in the Arkangelsk region by 2008. [Source: Nuclear News, March 2003]

* Evgeny Velikhov, president of the Kurchatov Institute in Russia, told the November 2002 American Nuclear Society audience that floating reactors are being developed particularly for remote or isolated areas where energy and fresh water are needed. [Ref: Dick Kovan et al., "ANS Winter Meeting: Deploying new nuclear technologies", Nuclear News, January 2003, p. 49]

* In 2001, the Russian government approved construction of two different projects for floating nuclear units, one in the Bay of Avachinsk and the other in the Archangelsk region. [Source: Nuclear News, "Late News in Brief", March 2002, p. 18]

* Bulat Nigmatulin (the Russian first deputy minister for nuclear power) announced plans to build nuclear heat and power facilities in 33 populated places in Russia's Northern regions. The project will begin before 2010: "We plan to build there small nuclear power plants of different types -- floating or in the form of small reactors carried aboard nuclear submarines or iceboats", the paper quoted him as saying.

* 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]


The anti-proliferation appeal of "black box reactors"

One approach to minimizing proliferation risk while allowing use of nuclear power plants is construction and use of so-called "black box reactors". Here's how a purposefully anonymous industry veteran reportedly described the black box concept to Nuclear News reporter: "These are brought by the vendor to the country that buys the energy. They are operated by the vendor, for an extended period of, say, 30 years, and taken back by the vendor for refueling and maintenance. There is no fresh nor spent fuel in the country. No fuel, no proliferation. One of several advantages is the recipient country need not set up the usual nuclear infrastructure." The floating reactor being designed in Russia for an island in northern Siberia is an example of such a black box. Other black box designs could be made transportable by road, rail, or sea. A big question, he said, is "whether countries would be willing to accept them. There are many questions -- transportability, licensing, public acceptance, legal questions like what happens if there is an accident in terms of liability, etc. They will be addressing a completely new field." [Source: Nuclear News, "'Innovation' project to find future paths for nuclear", January 2001, p. 63]

The 70s

Public Service Electric and Gas Company ordered four floating nuclear power plants from a joint venture subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Tenneco named Offshore Power Systems. PSE&G was the company's only source of revenue, and the utility paid $254 million before cancelling the order. The first two plants were going to be located 12 miles northeast of Atlantic City. In 1975, PSE&G requested a 5-year delay in construction, and Tenneco dropped out of OPS in March 1975. In December 1977, another 3-year delay was requested. The project died before OPS finished building their manufacturing facility in Jacksonville. [Ref: Nuclear News, "Three-year delivery deferral asked for floating nuclear plants", February 1978]

$13-million was spent on purchasing the largest gantry crane to be installed in the county. The 900 metric ton capacity crane was 350 feet high with a span of 671 feet and a travel of almost two-thirds of a mile. The crane was built by the West German company Fried Krupp GmbH. [Ref: Nuclear News, "Giant Gantry Crane", September 1975]

Westinghouse tried to keep the venture afloat. In May 1975, for example, it proposed that the federal government buy four floating nuclear plants, and then recover its investment by leasing or selling the plants to private utility companies. At that time, it was widely predicted that a shortfall in electric generating capacity was imminent due to a rash of cancelled and deferred new power plant construction projects.

Also in 1975, a California company, Holmes & Narver, Inc., issued an "idea paper" titled "Water Based Energy Parks: A Siting Concept for the Eighties", which proposed co-locating several floating nuclear plants, along with barge-mounted reprocessing and refabrication facilities, in inland lagoons. [Nuclear News, "Floating nuclear parks?", May 1975]

The 60s

*The MH-1A Sturgis floating nuclear power plant, a 45-MW pressurized water reactor, was the first floating nuclear plant to be built (and the last nuclear power plant built and operated by the U.S. Army). It provided power at Panama Canal during Vietnam war years, allowing more boats to pass through the canal (2,500 a year more is the # we've seen) than otherwise would have been possible.
[Historical photo: The MH-1A Sturgis (from U.S. Army magazine, Army Logistician, Sept-Oct 2001]

* The Army awarded a contract to design, build, and test a 10,000-kW floating nuclear plant on August 3, 1961. The plant is to be installed in the hull of a reconditioned and modified surplus Liberty Ship. The $17-million contract was awarded to The Martin Company, located in Baltimore. The construction, fabrication, and test operation phases were subject to the exercise of options by the government after 15-month maximum design was completed. Three years were to be allowed for subsequent construction and test phases. [Source: Nuclear News, "Army awards contract for floating nuclear power plant", September 1961]

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