Reconditioning of Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Sovetsky Soyuz to Start Next Year (Russia)

Reconditioning of nuclear-powered icebreaker Sovetsky Soyuz, which has been staying in reserve for 4 years, will start in the next year and finish by 2014; repair and fuel recharging will cost at least RUR 1 bln, reported RIA Novosti on Oct 10 referring to Andrei Smirnov, deputy director general of FSUE Rosatomflot (affiliate of state corporation Rosatom).

Icebreaker Rossiya will spend fuel in 2014 or even in 2013. We’ll have to recharge it. So, in the next year we launch recovery program of icebreaker Sovetsky Soyuz in order to recommission her till the time Rossiya would be laid up for long-standing repairs and fuel recharge“, Smirnov said.

In the current year, prime spendings of Rosatomflot were related to fuel of Vaigach and Yamal icebreakers. The next large funds will be spent for Sovetsky Soyuz. Each reactor section costs over RUR 300 mln. Thus, only fuel recharge of Sovetsky Soyuz will need about RUR 700-800 mln. Given repair costs, overall sum will make “somewhat a billion”.

Shallow-draft icebreaker Vaigach was laid up for repairs and fuel recharging in the current fall, reminded Smirnov. Vaigach is expected to leave the dock late in Nov, and on Dec 3 [Russian Nuclear Icebreaking Fleet Day] she is going to head for Arctic. The icebreaker passes regular 5-year overhaul-period renewal now.

In contrast to Vaigach, reactor of Yamal has two sections, and the fuel is almost run out. According to our estimates, it will be completely spent in three or four months. However, we should schedule repair of icebreakers in such a way that they could replace Yamal. We’ll have the fuel for her in the next summer. Now we’re going to repair the ship“, said Smirnov.

Yamal will undergo first phase of repair and overhaul-period renewal. Beginning from summer 2012, the icebreaker will spent mentioned 3-4-month fuel resource providing navigation escorts along the Northern Sea Route. In Aug 2012 Yamal will be shifted by nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy. Then Yamal will be laid up for repair and fuel recharge till the end of 2012.

We keep icebreaking fleet in serviceable conditions, but unfortunately, almost all icebreakers have worked 100,000 service hours, and we prolonged their service life up to 150,000. Moreover, we’ll have to extend operation time of shallow-draft icebreakers up to 200,000 hours, since works on Yenisei and Ob rivers can be done only by this kind of icebreakers“, said Smirnov.

As for him, Rossiya ought to serve for some time, being “a firm lady”. She will be laid down for a small repair in a month and then be used at the Northern Sea Route. After Vaigach, the next to be repaired in dry dock is icebreaker Taimyr.

Arktika-class nuclear-powered icebreaker Sovetsky Soyuz was laid down at Baltiysky Zavod​ shipyard in Leningrad; launched on Oct 31, 1986; and put in operation in 1989. The icebreaker used to perform tourist voyages to the North Pole in 1991 and 1992. In March 2002 being moored at Murmansk port, Sovetsky Soyuz supplied coastal assets with power, for the first time in the history of nuclear icebreaking fleet. In 2004 she was one of three icebreakers taking part in researches of global warming impact on Arctic. Length of the ship is 148 meters, beam is 30 meters, draft is 11 meters, power is 75,000 hp.

(1 billion Russian rubles = 31.75500 million U.S. dollars)

Source: rusnavy, October 12, 2011

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Posted on October 12, 2011

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