World’s only nuclear-powered containership bound for scrap

10/25/2012

The world’s only nuclear-powered containership, the Murmansk-based Sevmorput, is set for its last voyage: to the scrapyard

The vessel, which has been lying idle outside Murmansk for some years, was taken out of the Russian Ship Register at the end of July and will end up a scrap metal, according to a report in theBarents Observer.

The Sevmorput, which in the 1990s experienced major problems in international shipping following port restrictions, was used mainly on the route between Murmansk and Dudinka, the main port on the Yenisey river. 

The vessel, built at the Zaliv yard in Kerch, Ukraine, was a unique contribution to the Soviet fleet of civilian nuclear vessels when it entered service in 1988. 

Previously, there had been only three other nuclear-powered civilian merchant ships, all of which ended up as failed experiments. 

The 260-metre long, 61,000dwt Sevmorput was intended to show that the then Soviet Union could extend its nuclear power capacities into merchant shipping. The containership was built in a period of booming shipping in Soviet Arctic waters.