Rosatom has since 2008 managed the nuclear icebreaker fleet. The vessels, a total of four icebreakers and one container ship, are all based in Atomflot, a port facility in the Kola Bay. Rosatom has also been leading the development program on building of new nuclear-powered icebreakers. Three powerful LK-60 vessels are currently under construction at the Baltic Yard in St. Petersburg. The first of the ships, the «Arktika» was put on the water in June 2016. Construction of the two other vessels, the «Ural» and the «Sibir», was launched in May 2015 and July 2016. The yard’s construction contract with Rosatom amounts to 123 billion rubles.
Russia possesses the world's only nuclear icebreaker fleet designed to meet maritime transportation objectives in the Arctic based on the application of advanced nuclear technology. Currently Rosatomflot (a Rosatom company) operates 2 nuclear icebreakers with twin-reactor nuclear power plants of 75 thousand h.f. design capacity (the ‘Yamal’, and the ‘50 Let Pobedy’), and two icebreakers with single-reactor nuclear facilities of approximately 50 thousand h.f. (the ‘Taymyr’, and the ‘Vaygach’). In addition, the fleet includes the ice-breaking LASH carrier and container ship the ‘Sevmorput’ with a 40 thousand h.f. power plant, as well as 5 service ships.
‘Rosatomflot’s’ principle activities are as follows: icebreaking support to assist in the navigation of the ships through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and to the frozen ports of the Russian Federation, support for high-latitude research expeditions (in particular, expeditions to the floating Polar station «North Pole»); and the performance of emergency-rescue operations in the NSR and frozen seas outside the Arctic region. In addition, the company performs maintenance and repairs for both their own fleet and for external ship-owners, and participates in activities around the environmental rehabilitation of Russia’s North-Western region, as well as conducting tourist cruises to the North Pole, as well as to the islands and archipelagoes of the Central Arctic.
‘Rosatomflot’s’ main activities are focused on ensuring safe and stable navigation, including transit navigation, through the NSR. The transportation of hydrocarbon and other products to the markets of Europe and Asia through the NSR’s shipping lanes could present a realistic alternative option to the existing shipping lanes between the countries of the Atlantic and Pacific basins, via the Suez and Panama canals. The Northern Sea Route is the shortest shipping lane between the markets of Europe and the Asian-Pacific regions via the Arctic. By navigating through the shipping lanes at high-latitudes the distance is one third shorter in comparison with the so-called standard route from Rotterdam – Yokohama via the Indian Ocean, and the duration of the route is reduced from 33 to 20 days. The fuel savings reach 800 tonnes for an «average» vessel.
It is mainly thanks to the icebreaking fleet that cargo transportation in the NSR has become more and more active. In 2016 7.3 mln. tonnes of cargo were transported via the NSR. The volume of cargo transportation has increased by 35% when compared to 2015. In connection with the further development of hydrocarbon projects in the Arctic it is anticipated that cargo transportation through the NSR will see stable growth in the future. It is for this reason that participation in Arctic gas and oil projects is becoming a priority for ‘Rosatomflot’. Within the confines of the implementation of these projects nuclear icebreakers provide a year round convoy to accompany ships to the ports, thus ensuring its stable development.
Soon the fleet will receive three powerful new generation double-draft LK-60Ya icebreakers built in accordance with the 22220 design. The flagship universal nuclear vessel is already under construction at the Baltic shipyard in St-Petersburg, and in May 2015 the keel was laid for the first serial icebreaker the ‘Sibir’ at the Open Joint Stock Company ‘The Baltic Shipbuilding Plant’ (Baltiyskiy Zavod - Sudostroyenie) berth. According to the contract, the ships should are due to be completed by 2020.
Repair and inter-trip maintenance of the nuclear fleet is unthinkable without a specialized enterprise that has an appropriate production base and equipment and is located in the base of the nuclear-powered ships. They became, as already noted, the Atomflot company, which began as an outfitting base of the Admiralty Plant, which built the nuclear icebreaker Lenin. For his meeting in Murmansk built a wooden, which provided a load of not more than five tons, a jetty. And in the roadstead we installed anchor barrels. Following the nuclear ship to the North in 1960 came a small floating mast with a tiny plumbing site and a modest park of the most necessary machine tools. But the most important thing is people. Specialists from different parts of the country temporarily changed their place of residence and were sent to Murmansk to finalize the first nuclear icebreaker.
A special government commission, which brought together representatives of a good dozen ministries and departments, long and carefully chose the place for the construction of the Base-92. It was important that it was located in the neighborhood of the transport highways and close to other enterprises of the ship repair and shipbuilding industry. At the same time, the already formed requirements for nuclear and radiation safety were taken into account. As a result, we stopped at the bay near Cape Pinagoria in the neighborhood of the military shipyard "Sevmorput". The enterprise was supposed to be located on the territory that belonged to the military departments.
By the way, the Ministry of the Navy at one time even tried to place an order for the basing and repair of nuclear icebreakers at the enterprises of the Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry and the Navy. But in the end they did not agree on the sums of expenses for these purposes. And on March 1, 1968, a government decision was made to build three powerful nuclear icebreakers of the "Arctic" type, which predetermined the nature of the construction of the shore base for their maintenance. In the same March, a resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR was issued providing for the construction of a coastal enterprise for the basing and repair of the civil nuclear fleet.
And already in August 1968, the design of a specialized enterprise was entrusted to the head institute of the Ministry of Sea Fleet, the Soyuzmorniiproject. However, the institutions of the Ministry of Justice and Minsredmash were also involved in this work. which predetermined the nature of the construction of the coastal base of their services. In the same March, a resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR was issued providing for the construction of a coastal enterprise for the basing and repair of the civil nuclear fleet. And already in August 1968, the design of a specialized enterprise was entrusted to the head institute of the Ministry of Sea Fleet, the Soyuzmorniiproject. However, the institutions of the Ministry of Justice and Minsredmash were also involved in this work.
Rosatomflot started with the construction of a permanent berth for the only nuclear-powered nuclear-powered ship "Lenin" at that time , and then the formation of the quay line, now more than a kilometer long, continued on both sides of it. The commissioning of production facilities of the repair and technological enterprise, which was included in the Murmansk Shipping Company, was carried out by separate launching complexes. The first were berths, a new working canteen, storage facilities, a boiler room and some main production facilities. Then the builders handed over to the operators the facilities of zone "A" - a special complex designed for repair and maintenance of works related to nuclear power plants. Later, a multi-storey building of the plant management, a garage, a block of auxiliary workshops and other facilities were put into operation.
During the intensive development of the enterprise for almost thirty years, its director was the experienced leader of the honorary citizen of the hero-city of Murmansk, Anver Ibrahimovic Tumparov, to whom all called Andrei Ivanovich. He headed "Atomflot" from September 12, 1968 - at the time when the fateful decisions for its development were made at the state level.
Until 1988 the enterprise was a structural subdivision of the Murmansk Shipping Company and was called "Baza-92" (92 is the serial number of uranium in the periodic system of elements). FSUE Atomflot is located two kilometers from the northern border of the city of Murmansk and occupies the territory of 17.2 hectares. Part of the territory was formed by filling rocky waters of the Kola Bay during construction in the 70-80s of the last century. The modern complex of buildings and structures, which is now the enterprise, was built on the project of the Soyuzmorniiproekt Institute (Moscow).
In 2008, the Atomflot Federal State Unitary Enterprise became a member of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom on the basis of the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation on Measures for the Establishment of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (No. 369 of March 20, 2008). Since August 28, 2008, he has transferred ships with a nuclear power plant and vessels of nuclear technological service. On the basis of the enterprise there is a single icebreaker-technological complex of the civil nuclear fleet of the Russian Federation.
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