The new design proposed by Jacopo Buongiorno, Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT and his colleagues, calls for constructing sturdy floating platforms, similar to the ones that support offshore oil and gas rigs. Light-weight nuclear reactors could be built on top of these platforms in shipyards, and then towed to appropriate locations offshore. Mooring the platform to the seafloor, would, they say, ensure that the nuclear power plant remains unaffected by a tsunami's waves.
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The clean up of the radioactive water around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, which was struck by a tsunami in 2011, is expected to take decades. MIT researchers have come up with an alternative; they propose building floating nuclear plants, far enough offshore to simply ride out a tsunami and emerge unscathed.
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