Russia unveils a floating nuclear power plant

A Russian floating nuclear power plant was opened to the foreign media on Tuesday in the Arctic city of Murmansk.

The country's state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom developed the vessel-like unit. The plant will provide power to sparsely populated regions, mainly in the Arctic circle and the Russian Far East.

The Akademik Lomonosov plant is named after a Russian scientist. It is about 144 meters long and 30 meters wide, and can be freely moved by tugboats.

Rosatom says the unit's two reactors, each with a capacity of 35 megawatts, are equivalent to a small thermal power plant, and are enough to supply power to more than 100,000 people.

The Akademik Lomonosov, already loaded with nuclear fuel, will head east on the Northern Sea route this summer to the Arctic town of Pevek. It is scheduled to begin commercial operation there by the end of this year.

International conservation groups and others are voicing concerns over the risks the facility faces from natural disasters like tsunami and possible terror attacks.

But a Rosatom official in charge of security says the floating unit was designed to prevent fuel meltdowns and other emergencies.