Two RITM-200 Reactors Loaded Onto Russian IceBreaker

Two RITM-200 reactors have been loaded onto the nuclear powered icebreaker Ural at the Baltic Shipyard, Rosatom announced in November. Employees of the shipyard and of Spetstyazhavtotrans, a Russian carrier of oversized cargo, loaded the reactors onto the second Project 22220 nuclear icebreaker, a first for the slipways. Before that, both loading and installation were performed afloat at the fitting-out quay with the help of a crane vessel, the company said.

RITM-200 reactorPrior to the loading, Baltic Shipyard engineers designed special fixtures and accessories to synchronize the loading process and maintain the required slope angle to within a distance below1 mm. A modular gantry crane was used to lift and lower heavyweight and oversize equipment. "This approach allows for easier, faster and more cost-efficient loading, installation and fitting out," Rosatom said.

The RITM-200 reactor was developed by OKBM Afrikantov, an engineering subsidiary of Rosatom. It was designed specifically for icebreakers. The Ural icebreaker will be equipped with two reactors of this type, each with the capacity of 175 MW.

RITM-200 is compact and efficient, Rosatom said, deeming the design "unparalleled." "Its energy-efficient integrated design allows for core equipment to be placed inside the steam generator shell," Rosatom said.

The same reactors are installed on two other icebreakers, Arktika and Sibir. Together with the Ural, the three icebreakers will replace Soviet-era nuclear powered vessels Yamal, Taymyr and Vaygach.

Arktika, Sibir and Ural icebreakers will become the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakers. When they are put into operation, Atomflot (Russia’s nuclear icebreaker fleet owner and operator) will be able to arrange for year-round navigation along the entire Northern Sea Route. They are designed to make their way through three-meter-thick ice and able to operate in the Arctic Ocean and estuaries of Siberian rivers.

Two new nuclear icebreakers are planned, which will bring the nuclear fleet of icebreakers up to five. The decision to build two more was announced by Atomflot’s acting Director General  Mustafa Kashka at the 7th Murmansk International Business Week.

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