An SNF vessel project to get go ahead after serial icebreakers construction funding issue is resolved: a source
The decision to build a support vessel for nuclear-powered icebreakers for collection and storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF vessel) will be taken once the issue of financing the construction of the third and fourth 60MW serial nuclear icebreakers is resolved, a source in the Ministry of Industry and Trade familiar with the matter told IAA PortNews.
Earlier, the head of Balitc Shipyard has said that Atomflot may need a new technical support vessel by 2023 after decommissioning of the existing one.
Baltic Shipyard is currently building the lead 60MW nuclear icebreaker and a pair of serial icebreakers “Siberia” and “Ural” scheduled for delivery in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
General director of FSUE Atomflot Vyacheslav Ruksha estimates that to ensure year-round shipping escorting commercial vessels on the Northern Sea Route, the sector will require at least 9 additional icebreakers (excluding those under construction) by 2025.
According to his calculations, on the EU-bound direction of the NSR, the fleet will require by 2025 four additional 40MW icebreakers, and on the Eastern direction – five vessels, including a 60MW duo that should be delivered and commissioned by 2025, and three 120 MW icebreakers to handle growing freight traffic to Asia (more than 50 million t/y).
Vyacheslav Ruksha noted that the current nuclear icebreaker fleet capacity will be overstretched by 2035.
Today Atomflot owns and operates the Imandra mother ship for technical support of nuclear icebreakers. The vessel was built in 1980 to Iceberg Central Design Bureau design (developed back in 1948).
Atomflot also operates the M/V Serebryanka designed for collection and storage of liquid SNF. The vessel was built in 1974 (Vympel Design Bureau). In 2009 engineers developed the project of refitting to add capabilities of receiving, temporary storage, transportation and disposal of SNF, loading of spent fuel into containers.