Saturday, August 13, 2016

A novel way to use nuclear power

For years, Russia has demonstrated a unique use of nuclear power;  nuclear-powered icebreakers.   They just launched the hull of one in a new advanced class in June -- it's not finished yet -- and they're starting work on another.

Russia Lays Down Nuclear-Powered Ural Icebreaker at Baltic Shipyard

Russia's second serial project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker Ural has been laid down in St. Petersburg on Monday, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

The Arktika, the first project 22220 class ship and the first nuclear icebreaker to be fully built in modern-day Russia, was successfully launched at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg on June 16. The second ship, the Sibir, was laid down at the shipyard in May 2015.

Russia has had successful nuclear icebreakers (and nuclear submarines, like us) for years. So how difficult is it to have "neighborhood nuke plants" all around the globe -- especially the developing world? Seems simple to me.

One thing to note: over the next few decades, there's going to be considerably less polar ice for these ships to break.

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