Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation Technology

Russia Builds World's Largest Nuclear Powered Ice-Breaker 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-thought-the-nuclear-wessels-were-in-alameda dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Eve Conant reports that Russia's dream to dominate the Arctic will soon get a boost with a $1.1 billion nuclear-powered icebreaker 170 meters long and 34 meters wide. It's designed to navigate both shallow rivers and the freezing depths of the Northern Sea. Powered by two 'RITM-200' compact pressurized water reactors generating 60MWe, the world's largest 'universal' nuclear icebreaker is designed to blast through ice more than 4 meters thick and tow tankers of up to 70,000 tons displacement through Arctic ice fields. Why the effort and cost? 'Climate change is a pivotal factor in accelerating Russia's interest in icebreakers,' says Charles Ebinger. 'With climate change we are seeing a major change in the Northern Sea Route, which is a transport route along Russia's northern coast from Europe to Asia. Just in the last few years, with less and less permanent sea ice, maritime traffic across the Russian Arctic has risen exponentially.' The expectation is that the melt will continue, but there are still sections of route that would require icebreakers to keep it open year round. Icebreakers are an excellent example of a special purpose vehicle that is very poorly designed for operation outside its specific envelope. The key element is the rounded bow, a shape best suited to riding up on ice shelves and crushing them from above, causing the ships to roll from side to side in the waves when sailing on open water, making for a very seasick ride for the crew. Russia is the only country in the world currently building nuclear icebreakers, and has a fleet of about half a dozen in operation, along with a larger fleet of less powerful, diesel-powered icebreakers. The U.S. has been relying on a Russian diesel icebreaker to deliver supplies to Antarctica due to our own shrinking fleet of the cold-water, diesel-fueled vessels."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Russia Builds World's Largest Nuclear Powered Ice-Breaker

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Soon there won't be any ice to break!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Soon there won't be any ice to break!

      It is called winter. Even if the sea is ice free in the summer, there will be ice in the winter.

      Now if the Arctic sea is ice free year round, I think I'd be packing my bags for Mars.

      • by Sundo (1050980) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:53AM (#41309743)

        Whatever the cause for melting Arctic is, it's actually bound to cause more use for those icebreakers instead of freeing them up. Just like any other country with coastline to Arctic sea areas, Russia has plans to drill oil in the Arctic. They are also trying to start using the northern route for shipping around the continent.

        Also as previous poster noted, there's always winter. And it's not necessarily getting any easier because of the global warming, because extreme weather conditions may become more common.

        • Shell are already drilling. I think this is part of a race to claim the reserves up there.

        • by jafiwam (310805) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:54AM (#41310967) Homepage Journal

          Whatever the cause for melting Arctic is, it's actually bound to cause more use for those icebreakers instead of freeing them up. Just like any other country with coastline to Arctic sea areas, Russia has plans to drill oil in the Arctic. They are also trying to start using the northern route for shipping around the continent.

          Also as previous poster noted, there's always winter. And it's not necessarily getting any easier because of the global warming, because extreme weather conditions may become more common.

          The Russians are making a land-grab north of Canada. They'll be able to move troops and equipment to establish a stronghold without Canada being able to do anything about it besides call on their southern neighbors to start a war with Russia. Without significant and fast military build up, they are going to lose a significant portion of their energy future as Russia steals and squanders it.

          • by khallow (566160)

            The Russians are making a land-grab north of Canada.

            What "land" is left to be grabbed or to park "troops and equipment" on? All land (at least beyond the postage stamp size) is currently claimed in a way recognized by international law and treaty.

            I hope you're referring to the Arctic Ocean instead. But there, no one has a real claim to it right now. That will probably end up being whoever occupies and exploits it first. Hence, it is the real "land-grab". Since Canada like everyone else has no claim to the ocean nor a way to exploit it at this time, what's

            • by toddestan (632714)

              What "land" is left to be grabbed or to park "troops and equipment" on? All land (at least beyond the postage stamp size) is currently claimed in a way recognized by international law and treaty.

              Well, you may have international treaties and law, but if Russia was to show up with enough force that no one was able to (or willing) to kick them off the land would be defacto theirs. Russia could probably get away with it too, because at the end of the day pretty much the only country that could kick them off wo

          • by evilviper (135110)

            Russia is a signatory to the treaty that assigns Canada (and themselves) a significant portion of the Arctic.

            http://geology.com/articles/who-owns-the-arctic.shtml [geology.com]

            I'd like to think that a large number of countries would be up in arms should Russia suddenly start violating treaties it has signed, and basically invading foreign countries.

            Besides, this isn't the USSR. Economic sanctions against Russia would be severely damaging. And Canada is certainly capable of defending against an invasion force, though it

            • Which is why Russia is busy both rewriting definitions of words in the treat (what exactly is the continental shelf), rewriting underwater maps (exactly where does the Russian shelf end, and where does the Canadian start), and doing plain old landgrabs (hooray for random rocky outcroppings suddenly becoming important national territories).

              Russia won't invade Canada; it's not that dumb. But it certainly can play the legal game all day long.

      • Yes, by then Mars will have warmed up as well, removing the last remaining obstacle for it to sustain human life.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yes, by then Mars will have warmed up as well, removing the last remaining obstacle for it to sustain human life.

          Apart from, y'know, the lack of oxygen and pressure. Other than those teensy little hiccups, we're good to go!

  • A better way? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:46AM (#41309713)

    Pushing a heavy ship up on the ice to crush it and thus break it may be efficient, but is hardly the only way to break ice, and probably not the most efficient all things considered.

    A nuclear-powered ship should have raw power and heat in abundance. I'm thinking that super-hot steam under extreme pressure would cause any thickness of ice to crack, and cracked ice is extremely brittle and easy to crack even more, so a combination of super-hot steam and raw ramming force would crack the ice just as efficiently without the need for the ship to go on top of the ice and crush it. Would make it possible to use a more seaworthy hull shape and thus improve the conditions for the crew.

    • Re:A better way? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:02AM (#41309779) Journal

      You think so?

      It's easy to see if you're right. Just get yourself some super-heated steam (a pressure cooker is a good start), an appropriately-sized chunk of saltwater ice (do you own a freezer?) and see if it is practical.

      Myself, I'm thinking that it doesn't work the way that you think that it does.

      But it's your idea so I'll let you either prove or disprove it yourself. Good luck!

      • Re:A better way? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:45AM (#41311379)
        I can think of few flaws with the superheated steam idea off the top of my head.

        1) The ambient temperature is below freezing. Seawater has a freezing temperature of about -2 C. The ice is fresh water - freezing forces out most of the impurities like salt (which is why people have suggested towing icebergs to lower latitudes as sources of fresh water). Consequently, any ice which gets melted would simply re-freeze solid again when it contacted the surrounding ocean water. It'd be like trying to cut your way through a metal floor over a meter thick using a blowtorch. The metal you manage to melt would simply flow and resolidify as it reached the bottom. Any advantage of ice being brittle is lost when you're introducing liquid water which will flow into and seal any cracks you manage to make the moment the crack reaches the ocean underneath.

        2) Steam is uncontained. It flows and spreads out when it encounters resistance, thus decreasing the force at any point. The beauty of moving your ship on top of an ice sheet is that the weight of the ship is borne by the singular point of ice which is highest. That's what causes it to fracture even though the sheet as a whole may be able to support the weight of the ship. A similar strategy is used for the pilings of offshore oil rigs in areas which get iced over. If you try to build them to just resist the ice, they will be crushed and fail. Instead, they're designed with a curvature which lifts the ice. A flat ice sheet resting on a curved surface means all the weight of the ice is borne by a single point, easily causing it to fracture and move around the piling.

        3) Water has a fairly high heat capacity and heat of vaporization (it takes a lot of energy to heat it up and to convert it to steam). The Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers I find on Google are listed as 21,000 tons with a draft of 9 meters (the bottom of the ship extends 9 meters below the waterline). So raising the front half of it above 1.5 meters of ice requires mgh = (21,000/2 tons)(9.8 m/s^2)(10.5 meters) = 9.8x10^8 joules of energy. Water has a heat capacity of 4.2 J/g*K and a heat of vaporization of 2260 J/g. So taking freezing ocean water and heating it to steam requires 420+2260 = 2680 J/g. 9.8x10^8 joules will let you convert only 367 liters of water to steam. Less if you want to raise it above 100C, and less if you want to pressurize it above 1 atmosphere. And I suspect the icebreakers are designed with a shallower draft at the bow, to ease lifting it above the ice.
      • by tgd (2822)

        You think so?

        It's easy to see if you're right. Just get yourself some super-heated steam (a pressure cooker is a good start), an appropriately-sized chunk of saltwater ice (do you own a freezer?) and see if it is practical.

        Myself, I'm thinking that it doesn't work the way that you think that it does.

        But it's your idea so I'll let you either prove or disprove it yourself. Good luck!

        This is Slashdot, home of the armchair quarterback that thinks they've thought of something the experts missed.

        • Yes, it is. However, SOME ideas have cropped here, been shot down, and then later on turned out to have validity.

          IOW, some of those 'crackpots' actually have good ideas.
          Oddly, most ppl with good ideas are regularly accused of being crackpots. That is until it is done and ppl see how useful it is.
    • Re:A better way? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:06AM (#41309799)
      Breaking the ice is only a half of the problem. You also need to push the ice _away_ from your ship, and that's where the mass and shallow angles of ice breakers come handy. Quite a few ships in Arctic were _crushed_ by ice.

      Russia is the only country in the world with a significant population on the Arctic-facing shores (Canada and Norway are distant runner ups), so it has a rather rich history of building icebreakers.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The US has a long history of ice breaking also.. just inland: The biggest ice breaker on the Great Lakes is 1ft wider than the first lock leading from the great lakes out towards the Atlantic, that way the ice breaker can't be stolen, and even if it is... it has to break the ice on the great lakes (i just find this kind of amusing planning)

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Russia is the only country in the world with a significant population on the Arctic-facing shores (Canada and Norway are distant runner ups)

        And here in Norway we have the Gulf Stream coming up from the Atlantic so most harbors here are ice free all year long and if not with very weak ice. We have a few ice-breakers yes, but I'm guessing the US probably has more ice breakers in Alaska than we do in total.

    • Re:A better way? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:39AM (#41309941)

      A nuclear-powered ship should have raw power and heat in abundance. I'm thinking that super-hot steam under extreme pressure would cause any thickness of ice to crack

      The crew doesn't care. People that work under those conditions are entirely acclimated to rolling seas.

      Ice breakers are simple, stupid devices. Adding huge super heated pressurized ice blasters to something that must operate a billion miles from any sort of repair facility is just silly. Strong, redundant, protected engines combined with a ludicrously thick hull is optimal.

      Sometimes the weather gets so bad the crew must retreat to quarters for days. When they emerge there is a meter or more of solid ice encasing everything. The mass of it increases the draft so much a ship can become unstable and the crew must remove it symmetrically to remain level.

      There is no place for the sort of equipment necessary for controlling super-hot steam under extreme pressure on the deck or bow of an ice breaker. The ice would just mangle it beyond all fucking hope.

      • by dr2chase (653338)

        I dunno, you're making a steam-heated upper deck sound like not such a bad thing -- melting the ice off by remote control would be pretty awesome, compared to whacking on it with an ax. No need for super-heat, just use it after it exits the turbines, or run a heat exchanger with some anti-freeze, so a failure in that system would leave the engine power intact (let's see, what still flows at -80F?). Getting badly iced is a common failure mode. I've seen pictures of boats after they were caught in North Atl

        • Not going to work.

          What happens when you direct the steam on the ice? It melts, drips and freezes solid again in an instant. Not to mention the fact that your steam better be pretty damned hot to keep from condensing and freezing itself. (BTW, where do you think the now cooled moisture laden steam is going to go? That's right, it's going to freeze right onto the next thing downwind)

          Take a look at the exhaust pipes for some industrial plants in winter. You will see superheated steam escaping from the pip

          • by Whorhay (1319089)

            Not that I think it's a particularly good idea for a ship but they do heat driveways in some parts of the US to prevent icing. The setups I've seen usually use a geothermal system of some sort to keep the driveway above freezing temperatures. There has to be some drains installed to catch the runoff which is then piped below the frost line. Given that ground temperatures just a few feet down are typically in the 60's this shouldn't require any fancy heating system just a pump with a high enough flow rate to

            • by afidel (530433)

              Yep, we have a significant slope between two parking lots on our HQ campus, the entire connector between the two is heated from below with hot water heating. Sure enough when the slop goes from ~5% to essentially flat there's a drain to take the water away (I believe it goes to our catch pond).

          • Re:A better way? (Score:4, Informative)

            by dr2chase (653338) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @11:57AM (#41313161) Homepage

            "or run a heat exchanger with some anti-freeze" Got that covered for you.

            My driveway will not sink into the cold north Atlantic if too much ice builds up on it, nor am I at risk of being swept out to sea when I shovel the snow off of it. Loss of craft and loss of life are both costs that you need to include in your analysis.

            Unless they are constructed carefully, pipes embedded in concrete or asphalt can be broken when the concrete cracks or the asphalt shifts (this is a common failure mode, talk to anyone with an "Eichler" in Silicon Valley, also seen in heated driveways where I live). A ship that cracks has bigger problems. In addition, cleaning a driveway with heat includes the cost of the heat itself, where a ship has waste heat from its engines.

            Sanity check -- waste heat exceeds power, so use power of engine to estimate heat available. 1kwH = 860kCal = 14 kg ice melted (60 cal/g heat of fusion). Artika class icebreakers [wikipedia.org] have reactors on board totalling 340MW (I think that is heat power, not engine power, so take half of that, 170MW), therefore enough waste heat to melt 2380 metric tons of ice per hour (roughly = 10% of the displacement of the boat, also 2380 cubic meters of ice. Cross section of ship below waterline is also vaguely in the ballpark of 238 square meters, so melting your way forward would only get you 10 meters/hour.). Perhaps, rather than routing the antifreeze through pipes, it would make sense to have a few centrally mounted hose connections for spraying (very) warm sea water where you wanted ice melted.

          • So, a layer of decking that runs the steam through it would be a bad idea? I am not so certain. It actually might be interesting. In addition, you use salt water on the deck above so that helps to return the ice from fresh water into salt water which helps to keep it from freezing.
    • Tested and works (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:47AM (#41309975)
      The English canals had icebreaker boats which worked exactly the same way, except that they were human powered. the crew moved around on the deck to get the bow onto the ice then moved forward to break it, then rocked from side to side to clear the passage. So this solution has probably been around for several hundred years of testing. I imagine that the experience and knowledge of everybody from the canal builders to PhD-level marine architects somewhat exceeds that of xenobyte.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RuBLed (995686)
      A nuclear-powered ship is only efficient at this small scale ice breaking. For a more permanent solution regarding the availability of the northern routes, I suggest that we burn more coal on a global scale.
      • by dargaud (518470)
        You jest, but the solution to keeping the ice open is simple: just keep the traffic flowing. Right now there's hardly any traffic going all the way around Siberia. But if they build it, they will come, particularly if the temperatures are a little warmer and there's a team of powerful ice breaker ready for when currents push the ice to close again (which is how it happens, not simply by refreezing overnight).
    • Re:A better way? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:36AM (#41310605)

      Would make it possible to use a more seaworthy hull shape and thus improve the conditions for the crew.

      the Russians have actually addressed the hull-shape issue with some of their new diesel ice breakers and ice-strengthened freighters
      by building ships with an ice-breaker bow one end, a more normal bow on the other end, a bridge with a full set of controls front and back, and a hybrid propulsion system that can efficiently go in both directions.

      so they sail along in "normal ship mode" most of the time, and when they hit thick ice they just turn the ship around and switch to "icebreaker mode"

    • by Snaller (147050)

      "Pushing a heavy ship up on the ice to crush it and thus break it may be efficient, but is hardly the only way to break ice, and probably not the most efficient all things considered."

      No no, the better way is the American way: Release a lot of crap into the stratosphere heating up the planet and getting rid of all the ice at once by melting it! ;-)

      • Perhaps you mean the Chinese way? Their lax restrictions on air quality is part of why there is so much manufacturing there, as it's not economically feasible in other countries such as America.

    • Ramming is a bad idea. Even if you can crack the ice, you'd be pushing the cracked blocks against each other, forcing them together and giving them the chance to freeze together. They can't go anywhere, you're pushing against the entire ice shelf.

      What you need is a force in the direction where the ice is thinnest and weakest, i.e. vertically, which is just what an ice breaker does. It forces the ice down, and pushes the loose blocks underneath the ice shelf so they won't fill up the channel.

      I've tried crack

    • They sort of already do, it is called air bubble system. Conventional icebreakers also use it.

  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:48AM (#41309723) Homepage

    Shouldn't it be the Arctic Sea?

    For what it's worth - Russia is big and strong, and will be a power to count on the coming decades. As long as they keep to economic strength and avoid the military path it's no big problem.

    • Re:Northern Sea? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:09AM (#41309807)
      Technically, it's the Arctic Ocean (consisting of numerous seas).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Russia ever managed to fix its problems with corruption, it could expand to become a superpower that would rival the US and China combined.

      If it doesn't fix its system, it will continue to miss out on investments in any industry that can choose to operate elsewhere (i.e. everything except mining, farming, and stuff tied to the local population).

      Seriously, Russia could be the banking centre for a third of the world and be the most diverse manufacturing centre on the entire planet, if only people thought t

      • by daem0n1x (748565)

        Seriously, Russia could be the banking centre for a third of the world and be the most diverse manufacturing centre on the entire planet, if only people thought they could trust their investments there.

        Why on Earth do we need yet another banking centre? Why should Russia be a banking centre anyway?

        • by khallow (566160)

          Why on Earth do we need yet another banking centre?

          Yea, we only need one banking center, and I need to be the one owning it.

    • last time I checked, there was no ice in the North Sea. It's too violent for the crystallisation of salt water.

      I wonder if this could be anything to do with the fact that Shell are drilling the sea bed under the Arctic ice?

  • Making a lemonade (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ikaruga (2725453)
    Now that is what I'm talking about. Instead of trying to prevent global warming(something I doubt is even possible, regardless if global warming is human made or a natural event), why not try to take advantage of it. Humans survived to this day not because we stopped things from happening, but because we adapted to live with or overcome them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @03:59AM (#41310023)

    We've got to close the icebreaker gap!

    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @04:39AM (#41310157) Homepage Journal


      We've got to close the icebreaker gap!

      I know you say this in jest, and it's fine that Russians have this market, but there's also the aspect that the US wouldn't allow industry to build such a vessel, in this period of societal decline.

      As it is, our Coast Guard only has 3 breakers, all diesel, and one is really supposed to be a research vessel. We have to buy help from the Russians just to run our government programs.

      And forget about private industry being 'allowed' to build a twin-nuclear-powered massive ice break. It would be tied up in red tape and lawsuits until the investors left.

      There was a day when the US would have been outmaneuvering all the other industrial nations in advancing new technology like this. The air supply has been choked off in America but the brain hasn't quite gone hypoxic yet.

      • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:13AM (#41310521)

        And forget about private industry being 'allowed' to build a twin-nuclear-powered massive ice break. It would be tied up in red tape and lawsuits until the investors left.

        It may be nice to pretend that you don't need the support of a large organisation (eg. a Navy) to run large projects (eg. a huge nuclear powered icebreaker) that cost a lot of money for little or no financial return - however that act of pretending is known as fantasy. You fantasy is somewhat offensive in blaming governments for stopping the mythical creature of some libertarian building a nuclear icebreaker in his garage in Idaho. If it wasn't for that darned red tape and their dog he could do it! Scale that up to a fucking huge oil company and they've still got better ways to spend their money than building nuclear icebreakers. Private enterprise is just not going to do it - it's the sort of infrastructure that's applied at a national level (Russia) and borrowed on an international level.

        • I disagree. There's zero reason that a motivated private industry wouldn't contract with Electric Boat or Newport News to create a nuclear powered ice breaker that served them, and them only. Governmental breakers serve industry, in general. Once ANWAR and the oil fields north of there are finally opened and made economical, it would make sense for several of the oil companies operating in the area to operate their own ice breaker, that served all their rigs. You're not going to be able to get the USCG

          • Private industry did in fact build an ice breaker (not nuclear) on the Great Lakes and had the Coast Guard run it for them. No reason why they couldn't do the same with a nuclear powered one.
            • by dbIII (701233)
              No reason to see any difference between a nuclear powered icebreaker 140 metres long that can crack through ice four metres deep and a conventionally powered one on a lake? Well, that tells me a bit about yourself that you probably didn't want us to see but doesn't really help with the topic at hand.
              Also it appears I wasn't obvious enough above when I mentioned a navy, maybe it needs to be in bold red with a blink tag or something, but what should be obvious is that building a nuclear powered ship is only
        • by Animats (122034)

          Private enterprise is just not going to do it.

          It is doing it. This icebreaker is being ordered by Rosatomflot, not the Russian Navy. It's a commercial operation. They even run cruises to the North Pole on nuclear icebreakers to make extra revenue. A friend of mine went on one.

          Russia has only a few seaports, and most of them are ice-choked. They need icebreakers.

      • There was a day when the US would have been outmaneuvering all the other industrial nations in advancing new technology like this.

        Um, what new technology? This ship, her engines, they're completely old school. She's notable for her size, but beyond that there's nothing in the press release that indicates anything else that's ground breaking.

        I know you say this in jest, and it's fine that Russians have this market, but there's also the aspect that the US wouldn't allow industry to build such a vess

    • this would truly be a Cold War.

  • by nicomede (1228020) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @04:43AM (#41310177)
    The ice breaks YOU! -Napoleon Bonaparte
  • ...What do the Russians need with an icebreaker? The ice caps are melting, the thing'll be obsolete in ten or two hundred years anyway...~

    • by Sabriel (134364)

      They aren't melting all at once, though. If you wanted an edge, something that would help you beat everyone else to those nice prime ocean routes and drilling sites before just any old ship could get through....

  • by CaptainOfSpray (1229754) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:07AM (#41310741)
    I used to live in Stockholm, and used to see the icebreakers going out to do their stuff. I lived on top of a granite cliff two thousand yards from the path the ship was taking, and I could feel the engine vibration up through the soles of my feet into my chest cavity. I could clearly understand how those ultrasound-based crowd control weapons work. [Note that these were by comparison "tiny" icebreakers - one example of several http://www.sjofartsverket.se/en/About-us/Activities/Icebreaking/Our-Icebreakers/Research-VesselIcebreaker-Oden/Icebreaker-Oden/ [sjofartsverket.se]
    • by beerbear (1289124)
      That sounds more like infrasound [wikipedia.org] than ultrasound [wikipedia.org] to me.
    • by T Murphy (1054674)

      two thousand yards from the path the ship was taking, and I could feel the engine vibration up through the soles of my feet into my chest cavity. I could clearly understand how those ultrasound-based crowd control weapons work.

      I have to wonder what the impact is on the wildlife then :(

      • >I have to wonder what the impact is on the wildlife then :(
        First, the icebreakers are active in the hardest of winter, when almost no wildlife is active. Second, they are mostly active out at sea, where wild life is (a) sparse (b) able to avoid them. I recognise your concern, but I'm convinced the impact is minimal in this case.
  • Very interesting documentary by NatGeo on icebreakers, watched it a few days ago after Ars coverage of the news. Explains how they work and why they are designed like that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F95wO1-flM0 [youtube.com]
  • The U.S. has been relying on a Russian diesel icebreaker to deliver supplies to Antarctica due to our own shrinking fleet of the cold-water, diesel-fueled vessels."

    cold water causes shrinkage

  • "Plutonium and Uranium walk into a bar...?"

    Good gods, how big of one could they possibly build?

  • Anyway Arctic, fucked it. Make faster fucked. Ice clear tanker for, fuck. Profits more me for, fuck. Warming global, cares who, fuck?
  • by Bobtree (105901) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:05AM (#41311543)

    If it ever navigates "the freezing depths of the Northern Sea" it will just be a very expensive nuclear powered shipwreck.

  • A nuclear icebreaker, travelling through rough seas with several tonnes of radioactive waste on-board, opperated by a country with possibly the worst environmental record in the world. What could possibly go wrong?
    http://bellona.org/articles/articles_2011/vaygach_norway [bellona.org]
    http://www.bellona.org/filearchive/fil_The_Arctic_Nuclear_Challenge.pdf [bellona.org]

    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      If the last fifty years of nuclear icebreaker operations are any indication... not a whole lot, really.
  • It is nuclear power, it would seem that with 60MWe, which I presume is megawatt electricity (as opposed to thermal) one could power large gyros or at the very least have some crew quarters mounted on a Stewart platform. Water jets to provide stability?
  • This is what Canada should be doing rather than building stupid new frigates.

    Ice Breakers particulary nuclear would be so much more useful in every way.

    I mean even when we deploy our little ships to a combat zone, how useful are they other than as a token of participation compared to our allies anyway.

    Ice Breakers could be supplying a economic service that only maybe one other country is capable of (Russia). They would be supporting our northern sovereignty. Providing economic and material and stability sup

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.

Working...