Fears as Russian floating nuclear power plant to be towed along Norway’s coast

Foreign Minister Børge BrendeForeign Minister Børge Brende.Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Norwegian authorities are worried about safety when Russia’s new, ‘floating’ nuclear power plant is towed along Norway’s coast next year.

The giant barge, Akademik Lomonosov, is owned by the Russian state nuclear energy company, Rosatom.
Next spring or summer it will be transported from the shipyard in St. Petersburg to Murmansk, travelling along the entire Norwegian coast, according to Aftenposten newspaper.
‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is very critical of the plan to ship Akademik Lomonosov along the Norwegian coast. For Norwegian authorities, it’s crucial to have close dialogue with the Russian authorities about security and preparedness; presently there are many unanswered questions related to these issues,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
The case was discussed among Nordic foreign ministers at a meeting in Oslo in late May.
The worst case scenarios are a fire on board, that the vessel sinks, or that the route means that the barge runs aground in Norwegian territory.
‘The Russians themselves have indicated that the onward tow will be difficult to implement if the wind exceeds 15 meters per second. It’s therefore planned that Norway will indicate suitable emergency ports’, said department head, and Chief of Preparedness at Coastal Administration (Kystverket), Johan Marius Ly.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today