Russia has announced plans to build eight floating nuclear reactors -- the first of their kind -- to enhance the country's efforts to explore the Arctic for oil and gas reserves. The arctic is currently more navigable than it has ever been due to the melting of ice, which was previously an impediment to traversing the region. The arctic may be the last natural stronghold of oil and gas reserves in the world, so accessibility and control of the region is of high interest.
The floating power plants are designed to each create enough electricity for 45,000 people, and will have the extra option of purifying sea water into fresh water. With a cost of approximately $335 million each, Russia intends to produce the floating nuclear reactors for mass production. Countries like China, Algeria and Indonesia have expressed interest in purchasing the reactors. The first power plant should be completed sometime next year, and will be deployed to Russia's Kamchatka region in the far east.