Igor Ivanovich Afrikantov
Igor Ivanovich Afrikantov was a designer and organizer of work on the creation of nuclear reactors and equipment for the nuclear industry. Since 1951, he was the chief and chief designer of the Nizhny Novgorod OKBM. Hero of Socialist Labor (1960). Laureate of the Lenin (1958) and State (1953) Prizes of the USSR. Igor Ivanovich Afrikantov was born on October 21, 1916 in the village. Pushkarka, Arzamas district, Gorky region in a family of rural teachers. He graduated from the 1st level school in Arzamas, the 2nd level school - in 1933 in Gorky, where his family moved. The magnificent natural abilities - a unique memory, an analytical mind and tremendous work capacity - from a young age determined Igor Ivanovich's interest in the exact sciences, and his ability to mechanics was his fate as a mechanical engineer and a talented designer.
In 1934 he entered the general technical faculty of the Gorky Institute of Mechanical Engineering, graduating with honors in 1939 with a degree in mechanical engineering for the mechanical equipment of ships. From 1939 to 1942 I.I. Afrikantov - head of a group of the design bureau of the Stalingrad shipyard (plant No. 246), then a delivery mechanic and a responsible ship handler. Later he went to work at the plant No. 92 (Gorky, later the Gorky Machine-Building Plant - GMZ, also known as “New Sormovo”), where he held successively held positions: head of department, deputy head of workshop, head of tool shop, deputy chief technologist, Deputy Head of the Special Design Bureau for Experimental Work, Deputy Head, Chief Designer of Design Bureau. In 1951, I.I. Afrikantov was appointed chief designer of the design bureau of the plant, and three years later - the chief and chief designer of design bureau of plant No. 92.
In 1964, I.I. Afrikantov becomes the chief and chief designer of the Experimental Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (OKBM). At the same time since 1958, Igor Ivanovich was working as a teacher, and from 1962 to 1969. - Head of the Department of Design and Operation of Reactors at the Physical-Technical Faculty of the Gorky Polytechnic Institute, created on his initiative.
I.I. Afrikantov was destined to become a direct participant and leader in the creation of equipment for diffusion plants, industrial nuclear reactors, reactors and steam generating units (PPU) of nuclear ships and submarines. He was the chief designer of the first and modernized nuclear-powered icebreaker "Lenin" and the icebreakers of project 1052 ("Arctic", "Siberia"), nuclear-powered icebreakers of the II and III generations, fast-neutron power reactors BN-350 and BN-600 and others projects.
The main equipment of diffusion factories, which ensured the production of highly enriched uranium (up to 90% of the U-235 isotope) for the creation of atomic weapons, was developed in our country by two design bureaus: Design Bureau No. 92 (OKBM) and Design Bureau LKZ. OKBM for the period from 1946 to 1957 25 types of diffusion machines have been developed. Of these, 12 passed the acceptance tests, 9 types were put into serial production at the GMZ. These machines were equipped with a number of diffusion plants that met the country's needs for weapons-grade uranium.
For the development, development of production, commissioning and commissioning of diffusion plants II. In 1953, Afrikantov was awarded the Stalin Prize, and in 1958, the Lenin Prize for the development of the OK-26 diffusion machine and the organization of its serial production.
When creating diffusion machines, unique engineering technologies were developed that not only ensured the long-term reliable operation of many thousands of machines installed in the country's diffusion plants, but were also used in the future to create nuclear steam generating and nuclear power plants. Among them are the designs of pumping and heat exchange equipment, mechanical (mechanical) shaft seals for pumps, sealed, highly efficient electric motors, multi-stage compressors, vacuum tight shut-off and control valves and other equipment.
The creation of OK-26 high-performance machines with improved technical and economic indicators required the development of a number of original structural and technological solutions. These are the first of the diffusion machines in which the specific power of less than 15 kW / kg • s was achieved, which was the result of an increase in the efficiency of the compressors and the motor and minimization of the pressure loss in the diffusion stages. For OK-26, the most powerful and most economical sealed engine of all that existed during this period was created (at an output of 80 kW the engine had an efficiency of 96%).
The results of large-scale studies related to the development of a unique design for the rotating shaft seal assembly of high-capacity compressor machines were summarized by I.I. Afrikantov in his dissertation: “The Design, Theory, and Calculation of Compaction of a Rotating Shaft of Diffusion Compressors”, the protection of which earned him the title of Doctor of Technical Sciences (1958).
I.I. Afrikantov, as the chief designer, took part in the design, organization of pilot works, introduction of industrial uranium-graphite reactors (PUGR) into production and testing, ensured the participation of OKBM specialists in the installation and commissioning of equipment at the Mayak, SCK and MCC plants. He directly supervised the creation of the PUGR OK-120 (put into operation in 1958, worked until 1992), OK-135 and OK-140 (1961-1992), ADE- dual-purpose reactors (Pu production and thermal energy production) 2, ADE-4 and ADE-5 (launched in 1964-1965). The latter greatly covered the design life (20 years), reliably providing heat to residents of the cities of Zheleznogorsk, Tomsk and Seversk.
He supervised the development of OK-190 and OK-190M heavy-water industrial reactors, as well as experimental heavy-water reactors of the OK-177 type, built in the 1950s with the participation of OKBM in China and Yugoslavia.
Total projects and with the participation of OKBM in the period 1950-1960. 9 PUGRs and 5 heavy water reactors were built. Their work ensured that the country needed the amount of plutonium and other weapons-grade nuclear materials. At the same time, successful experience in the atomic heating of large cities was gained at ADE-type reactors.
I.I. Afrikantov - chief designer of the first reactor installation for the atomic icebreaker "Lenin" (1954). Under his leadership, in the shortest possible time - in less than two years - the first ship installation with three water-type reactors with a capacity of 90 MW each was developed and put into production. In the period 1958-1959 With the participation of OKBM specialists, the installation and complex tests of these reactors as part of the icebreaker were performed at the Admiralty Shipyard. I.I. Afrikantov was a member of the state commission for testing and acceptance of the Lenin icebreaker.
The icebreaker was intensively operated in the Arctic for 6 navigations. The successful operation of this atomic icebreaker marked the beginning of the creation of a civilian nuclear fleet in our country, and contributed to the emergence of a new industry - nuclear shipbuilding. For this work, I.I. Afrikantov, together with the Academic Supervisor of Acad. A.P. Alexandrov and chief designer of the icebreaker VI In 1960, the Neganovs were awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor.
I.I. Afrikantov is one of the authors of the concept and the initiators of the creation of atomic steam generating units of the block type. As the chief designer, he led the design work on the improved OKP-900 PPU, used to modernize the Lenin icebreaker and create the 1052 series of nuclear icebreakers (Arctic, Siberia). In total, 8 atomic icebreakers were built in the USSR on the basis of the block atomic PUFs developed at the OKBM.
I.I. Afrikantov - the head of work on the development of working design documentation and the development of production at the plant No. 92 of reactors for the first nuclear submarine and the ground stand of the nuclear power plant - 27 / VM. With the transition to serial construction of nuclear submarines (1957), he ensured field supervision of the manufacture of reactor equipment and its installation at construction plants, as well as the participation of design bureau specialists in commissioning tests and operation of the first generation nuclear submarines.
As the chief designer of OKBM in the 1960s, he headed the work on the design of block atomic nuclear power plants for nuclear submarines of the II and III generations - VM-4 and OK-650, their development in production and the author's maintenance of operation. These plants were mastered in mass production and were used in 1960-1970. for the mass construction of various types of nuclear submarines, making up the basis of the shock forces of the Russian Navy.
I.I. Afrikantov led the design and construction of a lead-bismuth liquid metal coolant for the series 705 high-speed nuclear submarines. The OKBM's work ensured a significant qualitative improvement in ship nuclear power plants and contributed to the creation of new classes of multipurpose and missile nuclear submarines with high tactical and technical characteristics.
I.I. Afrikantov supervised the work of OKBM on the design and development of the production of the world's first fast neutron power reactor with sodium coolant BN-350 and the next, more powerful power reactor BN-600. Both reactors were built with the participation of OKBM and have been successfully operated for a long time: BN-350 - from 1972 to 1997, BN-600 - from 1980 to the present.
To justify the designs of these reactors in OKBM on the initiative and under the guidance of I.I. Afrikantov, a well-developed bench base was created, which made it possible to carry out comprehensive research and testing of units and equipment of reactors with sodium coolant.
The work of OKBM provided our country with a leading position in the field of fast neutron reactors. Currently, the BN-600 reactor is successfully operating in commercial mode, being the largest of the existing reactors of this type in the world.
I.I. Afrikantov as a leader was distinguished by his vision of the prospects for the development of various areas of the use of atomic energy, especially in the Navy and civilian fleets. In this regard, he persistently sought to separate OKB from the plant number 92, which was part of the Ministry of Defense Industry, and the formation on its basis of an independent enterprise of nuclear engineering. The corresponding government decision was made in 1964. Consistently, he sought the integrated development of OKBM as a research and production enterprise with a design department and a powerful research, experimental and production base,
Much attention I.I. Afrikantov paid and the development of the social sphere of the enterprise, took an active part in public life of the city and region.
In everyday life, Igor Ivanovich was an excellent conversationalist. His encyclopedic knowledge in various fields made him at ease in any society. The colossal loads of the physical and moral plan seriously undermined his health. He spent all his free time outdoors with his family. He was fond of photography, and in this hobby he achieved professional excellence.
He was awarded three times the Order of Lenin (1951, 1959, 1960), the Orders of the Red Banner of Labor (1954), the Red Star (1945), the Badge of Honor (1944) and the medal "For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941—” 1945 ”.
I.I. Afrikantov died July 19, 1969.
In 2000, the name of I.I. Afrikantov was assigned FSUE OKBM. In 2001, in Nizhny Novgorod, at the house number 3 on the street along Nesterov street, a memorial plaque was installed in honor of I.I. Afrikantova.
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