Photo via: azrainman
As the Photo depicts, it is not Exxon/Mobil who will be bulldozing Santa's workshop this year, but rather the Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom. It will be a 70-megawatt prototype floating nuclear power station, consisting of two reactors nestled on one giant steel platform. There has also been an agreement to build another four plants once the first is complete.
What the heck are they going to do with 360-megawatts out in the middle of no-man or woman's land?
Why, to power the immense Russian built drilling rigs commissioned to exploit the vast stores of oil and gas buried deep within the Arctic, of course!The Arctic Goldmine
There was a time when the thought of claiming the windy, frigid, -50 Celsius, ice zones of the Arctic as no more economically viable than purchasing a plot of swampland in the middle of the Florida Everglades. This is because for some time now, even though geological surveys point to the fact that probably some 25 percent of the worlds total reserves of oil and gas (some 400 billion barrels) are held up within the arctic, nobody thought it would ever be economically viable to harvest it.
That certainly did not stop Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and the United States from each claiming a large plot of land on the Arctic within the past five years, each with the same idea in mind. The idea for a Plan B. Russia's plan is certainly an ambitious one, building five self-propelled nuclear power stations able to store their own waste and fuel for periods of up 12 to 14 years before needing servicing. The energy generated will power large nuclear submarine drilling rigs, able to drill up to eight wells in a single swoop.
Things have been really heating up in the Arctic (quite literally), now that the prospect of global warming has issued the promise of making land more accessible to exploit. Besides the vast supplies of oil, gas, and minerals, the opportunity to open trade routes between the Pacific and Atlantic would also open up. The Arctic could actually have quite a booming future, which is something most people would have never guessed several years ago.
The Environmentalist's Plea
Besides the fact that many environmentalist groups are working hard to ween the world off of oil, rather than dot the earth full of more holes to curb its veracious appetite. They are also extremely concerned about the impact a nuclear "accident" would have on the ecosystem. Let's face it, the Russians do not exactly have the greatest record when it comes to polluting the Arctic with their radioactive wastes.
There is also the fact that if an accident did ever occur in such a frigid ice land, the possibility of handling it quickly and effectively would be practically impossible. It is like watching a member of the Jackass crew dive into a tank of sharks wearing a baby seal carcass and telling everybody that they are going to be just fine!