Russia plans to build the first mobile nuclear power plant for military installations in the Arctic by 2020, a report says.
According to Russian media on Wednesday, the country’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered a pilot project for a mobile low-power nuclear station to be transported on a vehicle with tracks or a sledged platform compatible for the harsh Arctic region.
Russian news agency TASS says a company called Innovation Projects Engineering Company (IPEC) is chosen by the Russian Defense Ministry as the contractor of the project.
“The project has already begun and is going through a research stage now,” the agency quoted Yury Konyushko, the managing director of the company, as saying, adding that preliminary data will be presented to the military by the end of the current year.
Konyushko added that as soon as the ministry studies the presented data and gives the green light to proceed, the full-scale development of the plants -- estimated to take up to two years -- would start. According to him, the next step would be the construction of a prototype. “We are to present the pilot unit within four to five years, which is by 2020.”
Konyushko added that there is a demand for about 30 such units for Extreme North to cover areas in Arctic archipelagos. Replete with enormous mineral and natural resources, the Extreme North is a part of Russia located mainly north of the Arctic Circle.
The first mobile nuclear plant was developed during the heydays of the Cold War in the USSR in 1961, with some follow-up projects. However, they all were discontinued after the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in 1986.