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Project 10580-1 Taimyr

The Finnish shipbuilder Wartsila built many icebreakers for the Soviet Union and provided many advances in design during the years of development of conventionally powered icebreakers. Recently, these two technologies merged to develop Taymyr-class, shallow-draft polar icebreakers built in Helsinki with Soviet nuclear propulsion.

The Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet includes two third-generation Taymyr-class (sometimes spelled Taimyr) river icebreakers (Taimyr and Vaigach). The world's most powerful nuclear icebreakers were built on the building berths of Baltiysky Zavod. Year-round navigation in arctic region of Russia was achieved by the construction of a series of icebreakers capable of breaking ice up to 2 meters thick (75 000 h.p.). Five of them were delivered to the Murmansk Shipping Company (1974-1992).

To extend the operational range of the icebreaker fleet to important river ports on major Siberian rivers, Russian ship-designers, in cooperation with Finnish shipbuilders, developed and built the reduced-draft Taimyr-class icebreaker. The last two icebreakers ("Taimyr" and "Vaigach") with a restricted draft were produced in concert with Finnish shipbuilders, whereby Wartsila shipyards fabricated the hulls and Baltiyskiy Zavod installed nuclear propulsion plants (1989 and 1990). Atomic icebreaker TAIMYR entered service in the USSR Icebreaker Fleet in 1989.

The shallow-draft Project 1050 nuclear icebreakers (Taimyr and Vaigach) have 18 thousand tons displacement and 51 thousand horsepower propulsion. The ships operate in the Arctic waters and in the shallow Siberian river-mouths. The machinery will be installed at the Baltic Yard in Leningrad. Principal particulars are: length oa 150.2m, design wl 140.8m; breadth oa 29.2m, design wl 28m; draught, max. 9m, design wl 8.1m; depth 15.15m; max. propeller-shaft power in ice 35.5 megawatts. At 32.5 megawatts the icebreaker will be capable of passing through ice 1.8m thick, at a speed of 2 kn; in free water the speed is 18.5 kn at 25 megawatts.

Icebreaker Taimyr, just as its predecessors Lenin and Arktika, is a turbo-electric nuclear ship with a three-shaft propulsion plant. However main powerplant incorporates one reactor instead of two which generates steam for two steam turbines being a drive for two main ac generators. A principle of single electric power system is realized on the icebreaker. The 32.5-MWe single reactor ships use a single modified KLT-40M reactor each. The icebreakers TAIMYR and VAYGACH have special devices to control the exact running of the turbines within the plant receiving the steam from the nuclear reactor. The main activity is continuous monitoring of the turbine shaft frequency. A personal computer based system gives an alarm if there is a significant deviation.

Taimyr and Vaigach are to be withdrawn from service in 2015 and 2016, according to estimates made in 2000. In 2008 one source estimated that the Taimyr can remain in operation until 2013 and the Vaigach until 2014. Reactor and ship designers were investigating the feasibility of extending reactor service life from 100,000 hours to 150,000 hours, corresponding roughly to 10 additional years of icebreaker operation. Most of the Arktika-class vessels have had operating life extensions based on engineering knowledge built up from experience with Arktika itself. The ship was originally designed for 100,000 hours of reactor life, but this was extended first to 150,000 hours, then to 175,000 hours.




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