Nuclear power station passing Denmark
The transportation of the Russian floating nuclear power station, Akademik Lomonosov, began on Saturday i Saint Petersburg, as it departed from Baltisky Ship Yard. The route will follow the Baltic Sea, the Danish waters and then along the Norwegian coast to Murmansk. The floating station will be under surveillance, but will not be escorted by any vessels.
”We will pay the platform a visit during the course, and for the remainder we will keep an eye on it. We will not be following the power station by boa tor anything of the kind, as it sails in international waters when going through Denmark” says Christer Haven, media adviser in Danish Defence Command, to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
The floating nuclear power station, which cannot sail by its own power and therefore has to be towed, is expected to pass by Bornholm on the morning of Friday May 4, where it will take the international sailing route from the Baltic Sea through Danish sea areas Kattegat, Skagerak, the North Sea and then head north along the Norwegian coast towards the Barents ocean. The transportation will among other places sail under the Great Belt Bridge.
It is expected that the trip, from once the floating station reaches Bornholm until it has passed Skagen, will take appoximately a day and a half. This can change depending on the weather on the day, but the floating station should be outside Danish waters sometime near the evening of Saturday May 5.
The floating station will not have any nuclear fuel onboard the trip to Murmansk. Originally the owner Rosatomflot would have liked to test the reactors before the station departed from Saint Petersburg. This idea was however shelved preceding protests from Norway and other Baltic countries, which believed it was to risky for the station to have around 360 kilos of low enriched uranium 235 onboard.
The floating power station will not be handed any fuel before it reaches Murmansk, where it can be tested under the right conditions. Murmansk is the city in which Rosatomflot has their service base for the world’s only fleet of civil nuclear driven vessels, among these are five icebreakers. Maintenance and refilling of fuel for the vessel takes place at the service base.
Akademik Lomonosov will be towed along the northern coast of Siberia to the arctic port of Pevek, where the nuclear power station will be attached to the net. The erecting of the coastal station and the hydraulic structures for the power station started in May 2016. The plan is for the nuclear power station to be up and running in November 2019.
International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, has approved the technical functions and the physical security at the floating nuclear power station. With some improvements, the reactor of KLT-40 type is similar to the Russian navy’s nuclear driven ice- breakers.
Sourcee: Ekstra Bladet and Maritime Danmark