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Nuclear Collaboration

Yamal 2009.JPG

Nuclear icebreaker Yamal. By Pink floyd88 a – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

A couple weeks ago some reports emerged on Sino-Russian collaboration on nuclear propulsion. Of course, Russia is having other nuclear propulsion issues at the moment, but nevertheless I wrote a bit about it in the National Interest…

It appears that China is relying on Russian know-how and experience to develop the reactor for its first nuclear aircraft carrier. As the South China Morning Postreports, China appears to be studying the nuclear reactors on Russia’s largest icebreakers, an approach that the Soviet Union also took when it planned to build nuclear carriers in the 1980s. Specifically, Russia has invited China to bid on the construction of a new class of nuclear icebreaker, necessarily requiring the development of surface-ship based reactors. This approach stands in contrast to how the United States and France developed nuclear reactors for their largest carriers, but probably represents the best choice for China at this point. 

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