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Nuclear icebreaker fleet


 РОСАТОМ » Strategy implementation » Realisation of national priorities when executing state powers in the designated sphere of activity » Nuclear icebreaker fleet



2.3.3.1. Description of the nuclear icebreaker fleet

As of 31 December 2013, the operating fleet included four nuclear-propelled icebreakers. The nuclear icebreaker Sovetskiy Soyuz has been in the operational reserve; a decision was made to restore it for the winter navigation season of 2017–2018. Also, a decision was made to return to service the nuclear lighter ship Sevmorput. Three nuclear icebreakers have been at holding anchorage. The nuclear icebreaker Lenin is used as a museum.

2.3.3.2. Results of 2013

Steering of ships and shipments of cargoes via the Northern Sea Route and the Baltic Sea

In 2013, the nuclear icebreaker fleet of ROSATOM supported freight transportation and emergency rescue operations in the aquatic area of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), freezing northern seas and estuaries of rivers. In the framework of the regulated activity paid for as per rates established by the Federal Tariff Service of Russia (FST), 151 steering operations were carried out for ships with cargo and in ballast to and from ports in the aquatic area of the NSR, including steering of ships with cargo for building Sabetta Port of JSC Yamal SPG to Okskaya Bay and steering of a convoy of Navy ships under a contract with the Ministry of Defence of Russia.

In June 2013, an operation rescued a Russian polar explorer from the drifting research station North Pole-40 in the Arctic Ocean.

Fig. Cargo traffic on the NSR routes, tonnes

Transit voyages were made from Europe to the Asia Pacific countries. Over the 2013 summer-autumn navigation season, 71 transit steering operations were carried out, including 25 foreign-flag ships (during the 2012 navigation season, 46 similar transit steering operations were carried out, including 28 foreign-flag ships). A total of 1,356,000 tons of various cargoes was shipped east and west through the aquatic area of the NSR. In 2013, the volume of transit cargo traffic increased by 7.5 % as compared to 2012 (1,261,000 tons).

One of the most important events of the reporting year was the steering of ten combat ships and vessels of the Northern Fleet. The group was headed by the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Petr Velikiy. Four icebreakers steered the group through the difficult-topass-through regions in the Matisen Strait and the approaches to the Boris Vilkitsky Strait.

In the reporting year, the nuclear icebreaker fleet also supported winter navigation in the White Sea. From February to April 2013, the nuclear icebreaker Rossija safely steered 355 ships.

Building new icebreakers

In 2013, the building of the pilot universal nuclear-powered icebreaker of the next generation continued. The following work was done:

  • the ship’s keel laying and related certification by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping;
  • the development of the design documentation, the start of building and installation of sections on the slipway;
  • the registration of the ship in the register of ships under construction; a certificate of ownership of the ship by Russia has been obtained;
  • signing of contracts for the manufacture and supply of the critical equipment, purchasing of materials, rendering of services, including the supplying of the reactor installation RITM-200 with OKBM Afrikantov, for the manufacture of the steam turbine with JSC Kirov-Energomash Plant, and for the supplying of the propulsion system with the Krylov State Research Centre;
  • the selection of equipment vendors and awarding contracts to suppliers and subcontractors.

In August 2013, the Government of Russia issued a Resolution on the budget investments in building two universal nuclear icebreakers. In November 2013, bids were requested for a governmental contract to build a series of two nuclear icebreakers.

Results of the nuclear and radiation safety programme

In October 2013, the icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy carried out a unique operation to deliver the Olympic torch to the North Pole. Two new records were set: the icebreaker made the voyage to the North Pole during the polar night and did so in a record-breaking time. It took the icebreaker 91 hours and 12 minutes to get from Murmansk to the northernmost point of the planet.

In 2013:

  • in the framework of the free technical assistance rendered and financed by the Government of Norway the equipment was purchased to fit a radiation process monitoring laboratory and water chemistry laboratory;
  • activity was measured and certificates were issued for 116 containers with conditioned SRW;
  • the hardware and software complex of RMS Feniks on the nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy was subjected to troubleshooting;
  • a gamma-radiation monitoring post with readings displayed at FSUE Atomflot’s RMS was installed on board the floating nuclear maintenance ship Lepse, which is in the Nerpa Ship Repair Yard;
  • the following documents were drafted and sent for approval:
    • draft “Justification of Regulated Values of Permissible Radioactive Substances Releases to Atmospheric Air at FSUE Atomflot”;
    • draft “Justification of Regulated Values of Permissible Radioactive Substances Discharges to a Water Body (Kola bay of the Barents Sea)”.

Results of the environmental safety programme

In the field of environmental protection, the nuclear icebreaker fleet’s priority measures are the planning and execution of works to minimise negative impacts on the environment, i.e. to reduce noxious releases into the environment (sewage discharges to the aquatic area of Kola Bay in the Barents Sea, atmospheric releases and placement of production and consumption waste).

FSUE Atomflot was awarded a certificate by the Murmansk Region Government for active participation in environmental protection measures in the framework of the Environmental Protection Year.

In 2013, the Ecological Policy of FSUE Atomflot was updated. In the reporting year, 17 different ecological safety measures were implemented.

2.3.3.3. Plans for 2014 and on the mid-term horizon:

  • safe maintenance of facilities related to the use of atomic energy;
  • implementation of the service life extension programme of nuclear icebreakers up to 175,000–200,000 hours;
  • icebreaker-supported steering of ships in the NSR aquatic area and freezing ports of Russia;
  • modernisation of the fleet’s maintenance and repair capabilities;
  • disposal of nuclear icebreakers and NMSs whose service lives have expired.




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