Rudderless Reactors on the High Seas

Photograph Source MrT HK | CC BY 2.0

Did you hear the one about the Exxon Valdez, Fuku-Chernobyl, Gulf Oil Titanic?  Yeah: Russia floated two nuclear reactors on a bargeto power oil rigs in the Arctic Ocean and nothing went wrong!

Unsatisfied with trouncing Japan at the Winter Olympics, 14 gold medals to four, Moscow wants to topple Tokyo as Oceanic Polluter No. 1. As it stands, Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi triple reactor catastrophe which began March 11, 2011 “has caused by far the largest discharge of radioactivity into the ocean ever seen,” as the journal Nature reported Nov. 14, 2012.

To top this, the geniuses in Russia plan to drag a teetering ocean barge, carrying two nuclear reactors full of hot, fissioning not-yet-melted fuel, around the Arctic Ocean looking for icebergs, shoals or oil tankers to crash into. What better way to smoke Japan’s inglorious world record? And, instead of going to all the trouble of pouring cooling water over three smoldering melted reactor cores and watching the contamination run to sea for seven years (and counting) as in Fukushima, Russia’s sea monster can go down in a whole gale like the Edmund Fitzgerald, putting all the cesium, plutonium, strontium and the rest directly into the Arctic without all the fuss.

The April 28 launch of the barge Akademik Lomonosovpresents such an outrageous risk to sea life and seacoasts that even Newsweek said of it on April 30th,“Russia’s ‘Nuclear Titanic’ Raising Fears of ‘Chernobyl…

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