MIT researchers are working on a modern version of floating nuclear power plants using concepts derived from the off-shore oil and gas industry. The facilities would be built in a shipyard and towed to their destination.
The concept does not seem to be specific to any particular reactor design, but is more of a siting concept with some features worth consideration and discussion.
The concept of floating nuclear power plants is not new. Neither is the concept of off-shore power plants. That’s okay, nearly every human innovation is a combination of pre-existing products, services and ideas.
I’m not entirely sold on the safety advantages of such a concept because I remain firmly convinced that our current land-based nuclear plants are adequately safe. However, I can readily see several advantages from a cost and flexibility perspective.
This is a concept worth further investigation. It is certainly something that is generating substantial interest in the media, but that might be more of a tribute to the efforts of the capable public relations group at MIT.
The Atlantic (April 17, 2014) Could a Floating Nuclear Power Plant Prevent Another Fukushima?
Engadget (April 16, 2014) MIT designs a floating, tsunami-proof nuclear plant
Discovery (April 18, 2014) Floating Nuclear Plant Would Ride Out Tsunamis
Business Standard (April 17, 2014) Floating nuclear plants may withstand tsunamis
The Verge (April 16, 2014) Floating nuclear power plants could avoid disasters like Fukushima