Scientist of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on 17 April 2014 designed the world's first floating nuclear plants. Jacopo Buongiorno, Michael Golay and Neil Todreas of MIT presented the concept of the design at an American Society of Mechanical Engineers symposium.
In case of a tsunami or earthquake, the imminent danger to a nuclear plant is cooling failure inside the reactor. The floating nuclear plant would be automatically cooled by surrounding seawater in case of a major tsunami.
There are no particular limits to the size of such plants. The plant could be anywhere from small, 50-megawatt plants to 1000-megawatt plants.
Also, a floating platform several miles offshore, moored in about 100 metres of water, would be unaffected by the motions of a tsunami as earthquakes would have no direct impact at all.
The concept of Floating nuclear plant was based on two technologies, one is light-water nuclear reactors and the other is offshore oil and gas drilling platforms.
Importance of Floating nuclear plant
It will be a boost for Asian countries, as these countries has a combination of high tsunami risks and a rapidly growing need for new power sources. It would make a lot of sense for Japan as well as places such as Indonesia, Chile and Africa.
The design of plant could also help to address practical construction issues that have tended to make new nuclear plants uneconomical.
Shipyard construction allowed for better standardization and the all-steel design eliminate the use of concrete which is responsible for the construction delays and cost overruns.
When: 17 April 2014