Russia has developed and tested a reactor core for nuclear submarines which will operate for the entire life of the vessel without refueling, according to the annual report of JSC OKBM Afrikantov (Nizhny Novgorod), which is part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s Atomenergomash group.
Currently, submarine reactors need refueling every 5-10 years, a process which usually takes about a month. A reactor, which does not require refuelling, will considerably increase the operation rate of the submarine, former commander of the Northern Fleet, Admiral Vyacheslav Popov, told RIA Novosti, on 7 August.
Two of the new reactors were tested on a fourth-generation submarine, for a campaign up to medium repair of the ship confirming the correctness of the design decisions on which new projects are based. OKBM Afrikantov is the chief designer and sole supplier of reactor cores for naval vessels, and is a leading developer of nuclear reactor installations of various types. The company has produced 460 reactors for nuclear submarines and surface cruisers, four ground-based prototype booths, with a total lifetime of ship reactor operation of more than 10,450 reactor years.