Friday, August 24, 2012

Rosatom signs for nuclear icebreaker

 Rosatom signs for nuclear icebreaker

On the 23rd of August in Moscow on ROSATOM’s premises the signing of a contract for building of the pilot universal new generation nuclear icebreaker was held.

The contract was signed by Director General of Rosatomflot Vyacheslav Ruksa and Acting Director General of Baltijskiy Zavod-Sudostroyenie (shipbuilding) Artem Pidnik in the presence of Ivan Kamenskikh, First Deputy Director General and Director of the Nuclear Weapons Complex Directorate, and Dmitry Mironenkov, Vice President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.

According to Kamenskikh, today the growth of a volume of shipments via the Northern Sea Route is observed and by 2018 there might be a shortage in capacities of the existing icebreaker fleet to solve all tasks of Russia in the Arctic. “Now, owing to the building of the new icebreaker, we can assuredly look into the future,” he noted.

An open tender for the right of signing the contract for building the pilot universal nuclear icebreaker of Project 22220 of 60 megawatt capacity was won by Baltijskiy Zavod-Sudostroyenie. The contract cost is RUB36.959 billion. The building process should be completed in December 2017.

Bids were invited on June 29 this year. According to the Federal Law No. 94-FZ of 21.07.2005, the contract will be awarded to Baltijskiy Zavod-Sudostroyenie.

By her technical characteristics, the universal nuclear icebreaker is a double-draught ship capable of operating in both the Northern Sea Route lines and rivers of the Arctic region, and of replacing the existing nuclear icebreakers Arktika and Taimyr. Owing to a greater width (34 m) than the existing icebreakers (30 m), the universal nuclear icebreaker will be able alone to steer tankers of up to 70,000 tons displacement in the Arctic. It will be for the first time that an icebreaker capable of passing 3-meter thick ice is built.

The icebreaker detailed design was developed by CDB Aisberg in 2009. The new nuclear-propelled ship will differ from the previous generation of icebreakers in a special ballast system, which will allow her changing draught from the maximum to minimum one over a certain period of time. Filling her ballast tanks with water, the nuclear icebreaker will “settle down” and raise her going in severe ice conditions. At the approach of the Siberian rivers where the ship’s draught should be not more than 8.5 meters, the ship will drain the ballast and plane up.

The nuclear power installation will use a new integral reactor RITM-200 designed by ROSATOM’s Nizhniy Novgorod-based OKBM Afrikantov. It will be more reliable, economical (the core needs refueling once in seven years) and nearly twice smaller than existing reactors.

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