APPENDIX A: INFORMATION ABOUT THE NUCLEAR ICEBREAKER YAMAL
(Reproduced from an unpublished description given by R.K. Headland of
Scott Polar Institute, Cambridge University, UK)
kg of Uranium isotopes are contained in each
The ship is one of three Rossiya class icebreakers
reactor when fully fueled. This allows about 4
leased to the Murmansk Shipping Company
years between changes of the reactor cores.
by the Russian Government (her sisters are
Shielding of the reactor is by steel, high density
Rossiya [launched in 1985] and Sovetskiy Soyuz
concrete and water. The chain reaction can be
stopped in 0.6 seconds by full insertion of the
The name is derived from a Nenets word meaning
"End of the Earth," also applied to the Yamal
Used cores are extracted and new ones installed
in Murmansk, spent fuel is reprocessed, and
Her keel was laid on 25-V-1986 in St. Petersburg
waste is disposed of at a nuclear waste plant.
and she was launched on 28-X-1992
Ambient radiation is monitored by 86 sensors dis-
Registered number M 43048 and International Call
tributed throughout the vessel. In accommo-
dation areas this is 10 to 12 Rntgen/hr,
Length overall 150 m, at waterline 136 m. Breadth
within the reactor compartment, at 50% power,
overall 30 m, at waterline 28 m. Draft 11.08 m.
Height, keel to mast head: 55 m on 12 decks (4 be-
The primary cooling fluid is water, which passes
directly to four boilers for each reactors; steam
Ice knife, a 2-m-thick steel casting, is situated about
is produced at 30 kg/cm2 (310C).
22 m aft of the prow
Displacement 23,455 tonnes; capacity 20,646 gross
Main propulsion system: each set of boilers drives
two steam turbines that turn three dynamos
The cast steel prow is 50 cm thick at its strongest
(thus six dynamos may operate). 1 kV dc is
delivered to three double-wound motors con-
The hull is double with water ballast between
nected directly to the propellers.
them. The outer hull is 48 mm thick armor steel
where ice is met and 25 mm elsewhere.
steam turbines turning dynamos that develop
Eight bulkheads allow the ship to be divided into
a total of 10 MW.
nine watertight compartments.
There are three propellers; starboard and midships
Ice breaking is assisted by an air bubbling system
ones turn clockwise, port turns counter-clock-
(delivering 24 m3/s from jets 9 m below the
wise. Shafts are 20 m long. Screw velocity is
between 120 and 180 rpm.
surface), polymer coatings, specialized hull
design and capability of rapid movement of
tonnes; each has four 7-tonne blades fixed by
ballast water. Ice may be broken while mov-
nine bolts (16 tonne torque applied); inspec-
ing ahead or astern.
tion wells allow them to be examined in op-
An M1-2 or KA-32 helicopter is carried for observ-
ing ice conditions ahead of the ship.
Four spare blades are carried; diving and other
The ship is equipped to undertake short tow op-
equipment is aboard so a blade may be re-
erations when assisting other vessels through
placed at sea; each operation takes from 1 to 4
days (three such changes have been necessary
on Rossiya icebreakers since 1985).
are available for work during winter darkness.
A propulsive effort of 480 tonnes can be delivered
Complement 131: 49 officers and 82 other ranks.
Power is supplied by two pressurized water
from each screw (total 55.3 MW [75,000 shaft
nuclear reactors using enriched Uranium fuel
Power can be controlled at a rate of 1% a second.
Each reactor weighs 160 tonnes, both are contained
in a closed compartment under reduced pres-
Maximum speed is 22 knots (40 km/hr); full speed
in open water is 19.5 knots (35 km/hr); break-
Fuel consumption is approximately 200 g per day
ing ice 23 m thick can be done at 3 knots (5.5
of heavy isotopes when breaking thick ice. 500