Russia's top atomic official, Sergey Kirienko, and other top nuclear and security officials attended a ceremony Sunday in Severodvinsk, on the White Sea coast, where the nuclear plant will be installed.
The reactor is smaller than the average land-based nuclear reactor, which can power more than 1,000 megawatts and costs around $4 billion to build. The Russian floating reactor will have a 70 megawatt capacity and costs $200 million. Eighty percent of the electricity will power a fabricating plant on the shoreline and the remaining 20 percent will be sold.
Smaller nuclear reactors, whether on land or sea, are ideal for markets with small or weak power grids. The reactor also reduces the amount of fuel reloading, compared to land-based plants.
"This plant is much safer than atomic energy stations on the ground," Kirienko said, the business journal Kommersant reports.
Russia has plans to build at least six more floating nuclear plants for domestic electricity needs. And Russian officials say more than a dozen countries are interested in purchasing or taking part in future projects.