Offshore Floating Nuclear Plant

Offshore floating nuclear plants promise to be safer, less expensive, and easier to deploy than today’s land-based plants. Currently, building a nuclear plant is a long and expensive process plagued by site concerns such as sourcing water for cooling, and providing for the safety of the neighboring population. The offshore strategy developed at MIT proposes situating reactors in relatively deep water far away from coastal populations, linked only by an underwater power transmission line. Building nuclear plants in shipyards, like deep-sea oil platforms, would make it possible to use greatly streamlined methods of construction—significantly cutting costs. In addition, offshore siting minimizes safety concerns by eliminating risks of earthquakes and tsunamis as accident initiators, access to the essentially infinite ocean heat sink, and ensuring no one resides within the plant’s emergency planning zone.