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Atomenergomash has manufactured reactor plant RITM-200 for the most powerful icebreaker in the world


JSC Atomenergomash, the machine-building division of Rosatom, has finished manufacturing reactor plant RITM-200 for "Arktika" - the most powerful icebreaker in the world. It was launched on June 16 in St. Petersburg. The second reactor of the power plant was delivered from the production site of the ZiO-Podolsk Plant to the Baltiisky Zavod plant on  June 26. Earlier, the first reactor was delivered on May 26.

 RITM-200 is an advanced reactor plant developed by JSC OKBM Afrikantov for the icebreaker fleet. It is part of the main power plant of the icebreaker and comprises two reactors with a thermal capacity of 175 MW each.

"RITM-200 is a new generation of reactor plants; therefore, equipment manufacturing called for nonstandard engineering solutions and the best teamwork. Several division companies took part in implementing the project: OKBM Afrikantov as designer and single-source manufacturer, ZiO-Podolsk as manufacturer of vessel equipment, and also EMSS and CNIITMASH. During production operations, the division specialists developed several new technologies and tools unknown previously both in Russia and worldwide. Among these are a new technology for ultraprecise drilling of deep holes, new kinds of cutting tools, and other things. Hence, the successful shipment of RITM-200 is an important event not only for the division, but also for the nuclear industry and domestic machine-building", remarked Andrei Nikipelov, Director General of JSC Atomenergomash.

"Building a nuclear icebreaker is a challenging process requiring close coordination between manufacturers of different assemblies and components. Timely delivery of the reactor plant demands meeting milestones to be able to hand over the icebreaker to the customer in strict compliance with approved deadlines", said Sergei Chernogubovsky, Manager of Project 22220 at LLC Baltiisky Zavod-Sudostroyenie.

The main advantage of the new power plant is its small size and efficiency. It has a unique energy-efficient integral design, which allows for arranging basic equipment directly inside the steam generator pressure vessel. Due to this, its mass is a half less, its size is one and a half smaller, and it is 25 MW more powerful compared to currently used reactor plants type KLT for the icebreaker fleet. Besides, this allowed making the icebreaker a dual draft one and ensures better vessel technical performance characteristics such as attainable speed in ice, etc.

The service life of reactors is 40 years, and their operational safety is provided by a protective steel-water-concrete shell. A cassette-type reactor core with reduced-enrichment uranium-235 is used as nuclear fuel. The core is refueled once every seven years. As an example, during this time, a diesel-powered icebreaker would consume 540,000 tons of arctic diesel fuel for operation. And one cogeneration plant of similar capacity would consume one million tons of coal to supply power to a town with a population of 30,000.

The main production operations for manufacturing RITM-200 were conducted near Moscow at the Zio-Podolsk Plant (together with OKBM Afrikantov, they are both parts of Atomenergomash). The manufacturing cycle took about 2.5 years. The mere process of anticorrosive plating as per the technology required eight months, during which about 10 tons of an anticorrosive strip were welded onto the reactor vessel. Currently, the Plant is manufacturing a reactor plant for the new-generation commercial icebreaker "Sibir".

To transport the icebreaker reactor, Atomenergomash specialists made a special metal transport package. Since the reactor is an out-of-gauge load, it is delivered to the customer on a special articulated railway transport car with a load-carrying capacity of 240 tons.

The general-duty dual-draft nuclear icebreaker "Arktika" will be the biggest and most powerful icebreaker in the world. Icebreaker length – 173 m, beam – 34 m, minimal working draft – 8.5 m, and tonnage - 33,500 tons. The icebreaker is being built at the Baltiisky Zavod shipyards (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) in St. Petersburg. The icebreaker will be capable of leading ships in Arctic conditions by breaking ice up to three meters thick.