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20 countries interested in floating nuclear plants

By RIA Novosti

Moscow : A Russian nuclear official said Monday that over 20 countries are interested in the floating nuclear power plants (NPP) Russia is building.

In April, Russia laid the foundation for the first floating NPP in the northern city of Severodvinsk and is expected to build another six NPP within a decade, reports the news agency Ria Novosti.

"Some 20 countries have shown interest in floating NPPs, including Indonesia and China," said Sergei Krysov, deputy general director of Rosenergoatom, a state-controlled concern overseeing nuclear power plants.

He said China would buy a facility or jointly build an NPP with Russia after the first power unit was completed around 2010. "We hope that Western countries will be ready for contracts on cooperation in floating NPP projects after the prototype power unit is completed," Krysov said.

Floating NPPs are expected to be widely used in regions that experience a shortage of energy and also in the implementation of projects requiring stand-alone and uninterrupted energy supplies in the absence of a developed power grid.

A Rosenergoatom delegation will visit Cape Verde June 5 through 9 to consult officials of the African state on floating NPPs. "The Cape Verde islands have a great demand for increasing electricity output and fresh water, which is of primary importance. A floating NPP, which can produce both electricity and fresh water, would be a perfect solution for Cape Verde's leadership," Krysov said.

He said the second floating NPP could be built near the Russky Island in the Primorye Territory in Russia's Far East in 2011, which might host an Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in August 2012. But Krysov added that the NPP could be placed in Peveka in the northeastern Chukotka Autonomous Area if the summit was not held in Russky.

The first floating nuclear power plant will have a capacity of 70 megawatts of electricity and about 300 megawatts of thermal power.