An Attempt to Enter a Dangerous Proximity to Rosatom's Floating Nuclear Power Unit Intercepted in the Western Baltic Sea

Russian convoy ships in conjunction with the Swedish Coast Guard and the Danish Navy have intercepted an attempt to enter into a dangerously close proximity to ROSATOM’s floating nuclear power unit by a group of antinuclear extremists near the island of Bornholm (Denmark). The Beluga-2, a boat with antinuclear activists linked to Greenpeace onboard, had been on a collision course with the convoy of vessels towing Rosatom’s floating nuclear power unit Akademik Lomonosov to the Russian city of Murmansk.

Lomonosov is currently en route to Chukotka in the far east of Russia, where upon connecting to the grid it will become the northernmost nuclear installation in the world.

Akademik Lomonosov features small modular reactors equipped with the most cutting-edge safety and security systems. The plant was built based on tried and tested technology with hundreds of reactor-years of safe operation on nuclear icebreakers in the Arctic over the course of decades. The installation is expected to replace an aging Bilibino nuclear power plant in Chukotka, as well as a heavily polluting old coal firing plant, to provide clean, safe, and reliable energy for tens of thousands of Chukotka residents.

ROSATOM‘s representative said:
“We praise the professionalism of the crews the Swedish Coast Guard boat KBV314 and HDMS Najaden of the Danish Navy and our servicemen, and all involved security services and emergency response units”.

“ROSATOM welcomes open dialogue with members of the public, including with those who are opposed to nuclear power. We respect the right for legal protests and believe it is important to have an open debate on nuclear energy and the future of the Arctic”.

“We strongly believe that the issues of climate change and the future of the Arctic region deserve an honest and open dialogue, not cheap and irresponsible publicity stunts”.

“Nuclear safety is ROSATOM’s first priority and we work hard to ensure public acceptance of our projects and thorough stakeholder engagement. The majority of environmentalists have expressed strong support for the project, which will reduce CO2 and other toxic emissions in the Arctic”.

“The construction and transportation of Akademik Lomonosov was and is being conducted in the most transparent way and supervised by an independent regulator. Nuclear experts, environmentalists and members of the press have visited the vessel at the construction stage and attended the launch ceremony in Saint Petersburg on 28 April”.  

“Greenpeace hasn’t requested any information from ROSATOM on Akademik Lomonosov, nor has it approached ROSATOM or independent Russian regulator in any other way. Their allegations about the dangers posed by the plant are completely baseless. Greenpeace has not presented any meaningful scientific evidence to support any unaddressed risks or shortcomings of the plant’s design, which is based on tried and tested technology and has an impeccable track record”.

“Those who live in the make-believe world of 100% renewables do not realise that at -60C in the polar night neither solar nor wind would be able to power homes and businesses. It is either coal or nuclear. The former has a major negative impact on the Arctic environment with toxic emissions causing climate change, premature death, and extinction of rare species. The latter prevents tens of thousands of GHG emissions and supplies people with safe, clean, and reliable energy”.

“We think that those attacking the project do not deserve to be called ‘environmentalists’ or ‘green activists’; they are the hostages of antinuclear bigotry.”
Chukotka’s Governor Roman Kopin said: “The floating nuclear power plant in Pevek is not just about powering that small town. The future of the entire Chukotka Region – the most remote and the most extreme in the weather – and of all of its 50,000 inhabitants hinges on the project. The plant will enable reliable, safe and affordable energy supply and ensure sustainable development of the key industries in the region”.

“Chukotka has been using nuclear energy since 1974. In extremely severe winter weather conditions, when temperatures drop to -60C, with the lack of transport infrastructure remote territories can only rely on nuclear power for economic and uninterrupted supply of electricity”, he added.

Source: Rosatom
Date: May 3, 2018