TECH
09/07/2013 11:22 BST | Updated 08/09/2013 10:12 BST

Russian Floating Nuclear Power Station Due For Completion In 2016

Russia is building the world's first floating nuclear power plant - and it could be ready by 2016.

The massive, and as Gizmodo puts it 'surprisingly sane' water-borne power station is intended to be more portable - and more safe - than traditional powerplants.

One of Russia's biggest shipbuilders (the Baltic Plant) has been building the plant since 2009, and insists that it is able to withstand tsunamis, crashes at sea and other potential problems.

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Its designers also insist that the ship-like power stations do not release harmful waste during their operation and are at least as safe as nuclear stations on land - in fact exceeding safety regulations designed to prevent against any possible threats.

And if the 21,500 ton plant runs into trouble it could be redeployed to a more safe location, away from populated areas - though as The Verge points out, a meltdown at sea is hardly a reassuring image.

The plants are not only able to provide power to areas that would not be able to support their own nuclear facilities, such as oil and gas extraction platforms, port cities and industry, but also work as desalination plants - producing 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day.

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While it is not self-propelled, it could be towed to different locations along with its 69 crew. The craft has the capacity to provide 70 MW of electricity - enough for a city of 200,000.

After a long process of approval and construction, the plant is said to be on track for a 2016 completion date it was announced at the 6th International Naval Show in St. Petersburg.

Several other countries including China and Argentina are said to be interested in the technology, pending a successful launch.