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The "Akademik Lomonosov" is leaving the port of Murmansk on Friday 23 August to head for the Arctic Circle. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov

Russia has built its first floating nuclear power plant. The "Akademik Lomonosov" will begin this Friday, August 23, a long journey of 5,000 km leaving the port of Murmansk to reach the city of Pevek in eastern Siberia, 350 km north of the Arctic Circle.

With our correspondent in Moscow, Jean-Didier Revoin

Measuring 144 meters long and 30 wide, the floating structure is towed by ships because it does not have engines. As early as December, this floating nuclear power station will supply power to a locality of 5,000 inhabitants in the Chukhotka Autonomous District beyond the Arctic Circle, replacing a thermal power station and a nuclear power station.

It has two reactors capable of providing enough energy to supply electricity to a city of 100,000 inhabitants. For Rosatom, the Russian conglomerate responsible for the development of the nuclear industry that developed the Akademik Lomonosov , this structure must provide electricity and heat to the most remote areas, ensuring their economic development, or even oil rigs, while respecting modern safety standards.

According to its designers, the Akademik Lemonosov would be invincible, able to withstand tsunamis and other natural disasters. But critics of the project, NGOs or environmental advocates, are not convinced. They have already dubbed it "Nuclear Titanic" or "Floating Chernobyl" and claim that it will pose a constant threat to the region's inhabitants and the pristine nature of the region.