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Nuclear reactors loaded onto project 22220 Ural atomic icebreaker

Experts of the Joint Stock Company Baltic Shipyard, an affiliate of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, and GK Spetstyazhavtotrans enterprise have loaded two Ritm-200 nuclear reactors onto the second project 22220 serial atomic icebreaker Ural, the USC press service said.

Nuclear reactors loaded onto project 22220 Ural atomic icebreaker Artist impression of first of class nuclear powered icebreaker "Arktika" (project 22220)
Image: Atomflot

"This work was absolutely unique because for the first time ever the reactors were loaded onto the icebreaker in conditions of a sloping pile. Previously, floating cranes had been used to load and install the reactors on ships. That was done on the float near a building berth," the press service said.

The Baltic Shipyard developed a special loading gear, which helped to synchronize the descent of the reactors under a certain inclination with an accuracy of up to 1 mm. The shipbuilders used a module-type rigging gear to install the heavy small-size equipment on the vessel with a high degree of accuracy.

The use of a sloping pile opens up new technical opportunities for installing nuclear power plants and reducing the time of the ship’s construction on the float. It also cuts expenses in the outfitting period.
Ritm-200 is a new power plant developed by the I.I. Afrikantov Design Bureau for the ice-breaking fleet. Ritm-200 is part of the main power unit of an icebreaker. It comprises two reactors with the heat output of 175 megawatt each. The new power plant is compact and economical. It has a unique energy efficient integral composition, which makes it possible to install the main equipment directly inside the body of the steam-generating unit. Previously, nuclear reactors were installed on the Arktika and Sibir ice-breakers.

The project 22220 lead ship Arktika was laid at the Baltic Shipyard in November 2013. The first serial ice-breaker Sibir was laid in May 2015. The second serial icebreaker - the Ural- was laid in July 2016. The displacement of the project 22220 atomic ice-breaker is 33450 tons; the length is 173.3 m. Sailing speed is 22 knots. Maximum ice thickness which the ice-breaker can overcome in continuous motion is 2.8 meters. The crew comprises 74 men.

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