Nuclear breaks ice on Arctic gas shipment

Assystem Energy & Infrastructure

Nuclear breaks ice on Arctic gas shipment

Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers have enabled the first ever LNG delivery via the Northern Sea Route from Norway to Japan, where it will go towards replacing generation lost from shut down nuclear reactors.

The Ob River carrier took Gazprom fuel from Hammerfest in Norway to the Japanese port of Tobata, taking nine days to travel the Northern Sea Route portion of the trip. Gazprom said there was little ice on the first half of the journey, but the second half saw fresh ice up to 30 centimetres thick. This was tackled by three icebreakers powered by small pressurized water reactors: the Vaygach, Rossiya, and 50 Let Pobedy.

LNG shipment, November 2012 (Gazprom) 460x306

Both the shipment mode and the cargo symbolise the stark differences in energy situation between Russia and Japan. Although both have faced the effects of major nuclear accidents Russia remains committed to the technology and employs…

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