Today, in the presence of the Minister for Economic Development, Paolo Romani, and the Russian Minister for Industry and Trade, Viktor Khristenko, there was the launch of the "Rossita", the vessel tasked with transporting radioactive material from the dismantlement of Russian nuclear submarines, whose name was composed to convey the idea of cooperation between Russia (Rossia in Russian) and Italy (Ita).
Also present at the launch ceremony, organised by Fincantieri at the company's shipyard in Muggiano-La Spezia, were the CEOs of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, and of Sogin, Giuseppe Nucci. Godmother to the ship was Cristina Brivonese.
The ship will be employed by the Russian company Atomflot - working under the supervision of the Authority for nuclear energy in Moscow "Rosatom" - to transport spent nuclear fuel from facilities in North West Russia (Kola Peninsula and the White Sea) to the port of Murmansk and conditioned radioactive waste to the temporary storage facility of Sayda Bay, where Germany is building a treatment and storage plant worth 300 million Euro.
Scheduled for delivery in 2011, the "Rossita" embodies cutting edge design, proof of Fincantieri's extensive know-how in building special ships with high level of technological content.
Examples of this expertise are the duplication of plant in the hold so that it is autonomous and separate from the rest of the plant, two propulsion areas separated by a watertight bulkhead, and a double hull in the part of the ship where the cargo is held. In addition, the shield protecting the holds and the monitoring system for the whole of the area involved in transporting the cargo have been designed in accordance with strict regulations regarding nuclear safety and security.
The order is comprised within the framework of an agreement of cooperation drawn up in 2003 between the Russian and Italian Governments for the dismantlement of nuclear submarines dismissed from service and the safe management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
Under the agreement, reached following the creation of the Global Partnership launched on the occasion of the 2002 G8 held in Kananaskis (Canada) which sets out to reduce the threat of terrorists using nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological weapons, Italy committed funds of 360 million Euro, of which approximately 136 has already been designated to cover a total of 28 contracts.
The project has been wholly entrusted to Sogin who, as general coordinator, has seen its expertise in the field of managing nuclear waste recognised also internationally and has had the opportunity to further develop its range of operations abroad and its network of contacts and experience worldwide in the management of complex projects of nuclear decommissioning.
Under the Global Partnership four submarines have already been dismantled to date and decommissioning of a fifth has been scheduled. Carrying out these activities as a joint venture between Russia and Italy has led to substantial savings and improved levels of efficiency enabling two additional submarines to be dismantled compared to the original plan.
In addition to the dismantlement of the Russian submarines and the construction of the ship to transport the waste and material and the transport itself the project comprises three further lines of activity: improvement of the physical protection of the installations; treatment of liquid and solid radioactive waste and temporary storage; construction of containers for the transport of spent nuclear fuel and highly radioactive waste.
"In a time of serious crisis for the shipbuilding industry our decision to enter every market sector and exploit new business opportunities has proved successful. I am especially proud of this project both because it is a further example of Fincantieri excellence in terms of technology and product and because we have been called to carry out an important mission for the world community", commented the CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono.
"Becoming a recognised leader at an international level in the field of decommissioning is a reason for great pride, not only for our company but also for Italy, commented the CEO of Sogin Giuseppe Nucci. Furthermore, our role as general coordinator for the whole project of dismantlement of the nuclear submarines is a great opportunity for work and development for our companies in one of the most promising markets in the Old Continent, with a GDP which, in the second quarter this year, grew by over 5%, according to the federal statistics agency Rosstat".
Technical data for the Rossita
Cargo capacity: 640 t
Gross tonnage: 1620 t
Length overall: 84 m
Height: 6.2 m from t construction line
Breadth: 14 m
Contractual speed: 12 knots
Autonomy: 3,000 nm
o built by: Isotta Fraschini
o type: V1716T2MLH
o Maximum Continuous Power: 2 X 1300 Kw
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