Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nuclear powered icebreaker
The Nuclear powered icebreaker is a purpose built ship for use in waters where there is continuous ice. The nuclear powered icebreakers were constructed for the purpose of increasing the shipping along the northern coast of Siberia in waters covered by ice for long periods of time. The nuclear powered icebreakers are far more powerful than their diesel powered counterparts. During the winter, the ice along the northern seaway varies in thickness from 1.2 to 2.0 meters. The ice in central parts of the Polar Sea is on average 2.5 metres thick. Nuclear-powered icebreakers can force this ice at speeds up to 10 knots (19 km/h). In ice-free waters the maximum speed of the nuclear-powered icebreakers is 21 knots.
Russian nuclear icebreakers
Most nuclear powered icebreakers in the Russian service have a swimming pool, a sauna, a cinema, and a gymnasium. In the restaurants aboard there is a bar and facilities for live music performances. The nuclear powered icebreakers NS Vaigach and NS Taimyr have a crew of 120 each, while the nuclear powered icebreakers of the Arktika design have a crew of more than 200. In all, 2,000 people work aboard the icebreakers, the nuclear powered container ship, and aboard the service and storage ships stationed at the Atomflot harbour. The crew on the civil nuclear powered vessels receive special training at the Makarov college in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Table of nuclear powered icebreakers and icebreaking transports in russia
|Ship Name||Commissioned||Type and Comments|
|NS Lenin||1959||Icebreaker decommissioned 1989|
|NS Arktika||1975||Icebreaker Arktika-type not operating|
|NS Sibir||1977||Icebreaker Arktika-type not operating|
|NS Rossiya||1985||Icebreaker Arktika-type|
|NS Sevmorput||1988||Container ship|
|NS Taimyr||1989||River Icebreaker|
|NS Sovjetskij Sojuz||1990||Icebreaker Arktika-type|
|NS Vaigach||1990||River Icebreaker|
|NS Yamal||1993||Icebreaker Arktika-type|
|NS Ural||1994||Icebreaker, Arktika-type|
At its launch in 1957 the icebreaker Lenin was the world's first civil nuclear powered vessel. Lenin was put into ordinary operation in 1959. The nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin was taken out of operation November 1989 and laid up at Atomflot, the base for nuclear powered icebreakers, in the Murmansk Fjord .
Russian nuclear icebreaker operations
In all, nine Russian civil nuclear powered vessels have been built in Russia. Eight of these are nuclear-powered icebreakers, and one is a nuclear-powered container ship. In addition to these, the new nuclear-powered icebreaker, the NS Ural, was launched at the shipyard of St. Petersburg November 1993 and delivered at Murmansk during 1994. The NS Vaigach and NS Taimyr were built at shipyards in Finland, while all nuclear-powered icebreakers of the NS Arktika design have been built at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg.
The nuclear powered icebreakers NS Arktika and NS Sibir are presently not in operation but are stationed at Atomflot for extensive repair. Among other things, the nuclear reactors and turbine generators are to be upgraded as these do not satisfy the safety standards established for newer nuclear powered icebreakers. Neither the NS Arktika, nor the NS Sibir might ever come into operation again due to the operational economics. Unless there is a significant increase of transport in the Arctic it will not be profitable to operate seven nuclear powered icebreakers. It is to be expected that the oldest icebreakers would be the first ones to be taken out of operation.
Use of nuclear-powered icebreakers
The nuclear ice breakers of the Arktika design are used to force through the ice for the benefit of cargo ships and other vessels along the northern seaway. The northern seaway comprises the eastern part of the Barents Sea, the Petchora Sea , the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea and the Eastern Siberia Sea to the Bering Straight. Important ports on the northern seaway are, among others, Dikson, Tiksi and Pevek.
The nuclear-powered icebreakers NS Vaigach and NS Taimyr have been built for shallow waters and are usually used on the river Jenitsej to Dikson, where they break through the ice followed by cargo ships with lumber from Igarka and cargo ships with ore and metals from the Norilsk Company's port Dudinka. These nuclear powered icebreakers can also be used as fireboats. The icebreakers have also been used for a number of scientific expeditions in the Arctic. On August 17, 1977, the NS Arktika was the first surface vessel in the world to reach the North Pole.
Since 1989 the nuclear powered icebreakers have also been used for tourist purposes carrying passengers to the North Pole. Each participant pays up to US$ 25,000 for cruises lasting three weeks. The NS Sibir was used for the first two tourist cruises in 1989 and 1990. In 1991 and 1992, the tourist trips to the North Pole were undertaken by NS Sovjetsky Sojuz. During the summer of 1993 the NS Yamal was used for three tourist expeditions in the Arctic. The NS Yamal has a separate accommodation section for tourists. The NS Ural contains an accommodation deck customised for tourists.
See also: List of Civilian Nuclear Ships
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details