Russia plans to tow nuclear power station to remote Arctic region

The floating nuclear power station is destined for the port town of Pevek. (Source: Mary Ilyushina/CNN)

(CNN) – Russia plans to tow a floating nuclear power station to a remote area in the Arctic Circle next month.

It’s an attempt to bring electric power to the mineral-rich Chukotka region.

Villages and towns along Russia’s Arctic coast generate as much as 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, but the settlements are often only accessible by plane or ship.

The floating nuclear power station is destined for the port town of Pevek, some 4,000 miles from Moscow.

It’s taken almost 20 years to construct it.

When it’s in place, it will be the northernmost operating nuclear plant in the world, but critics compare it to Chernobyl and say it’s an environmental threat.

And some Russian officials have questioned the floating reactor’s price tag. Its construction has cost an estimated $450 million.

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