It’s not clear if the ship will be weaponised and used for military purposes.
CHINA is building a mysterious 30,000-tonne “nuclear icebreaker” ship that could help it dominate the Arctic.
The enormous craft would be capable of cutting through thick ocean ice sheets in the frozen seas north of Russia and North America.
The enormous nuclear-powered ship would be the first of its kind to serve in China’s global fleet.
China already operates nuclear-powered submarines, but is yet to launch a nuclear-propelled sea-surface vessel.
China’s General Nuclear Power Group asked for companies to bid for a contract to build the vessel.
The vessel is specified as being 152 metres long, 30 metres wide, and 18 metres deep.
That’s small for an aircraft carrier, but one military expert speaking to the SCMP said the ship could serve as a test-bed for improving nuclear “shipbuilding ability”.
China hasn’t said what the ship will be used for, only suggesting that it will be an “experimental platform”.
The deadline for bids was Wednesday, and no businesses from outside China were allowed to enter the running.
The ship is expected to tout two 25-megawatt compact pressurised water reactors.
This will get them a total power output of 200-megawatts, which could propel the ship to speeds of around 11.5knots – about 13mph.
China said that the vessel was an “experimental ship platform”, leading to rampant speculation about how it will be used.
Hong Kong military commentator Song Zhongping said vessel size was similar to Russian nuclear icebreakers, speaking to the SCMP.
Russia is currently only country that operates nuclear icebreakers, likely due to its near-Arctic location….
Source: www.thesun.co.uk (By Sean Keach)