Floating Nuclear Power Stations

The Economist reported that researchers at MIT, the University of Wisconsin and Chicago Bridge & Iron recently put forward the concept of floating nuclear power stations as a safer means of nuclear power generation.

According to the article:

Offshore reactors would help overcome the increasing difficulty of finding sites for new nuclear power stations. They need lots of water, so ideally should be sited beside an ocean, lake or river. Unfortunately, those are just the places where people want to live, so any such plans are likely to be fiercely opposed by locals.

The Economist goest further to explain that:

A floating nuclear power station would be protected against earthquakes and tsunamis. The expanse of the ocean would shield the structure from seismic waves in the seabed, says Dr Buongiorno, and, provided the power station was moored in about 100 metres of water, the swell from a tsunami should not be large enough to cause any serious damage.

At the end of its service life, a floating nuclear power station could be towed to a specially equipped yard where it could be more easily dismantled and decommissioned. This is what happens to nuclear-powered ships.

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