Reactivated Sevmorput LASH ship puts out to sea for the first time
© КШЫ Novosti. Vadim Zhirnov

Reactivated Sevmorput LASH ship puts out to sea for the first time

The world's only Sevmorput nuclear-powered LASH (Lighter aboard Ship) carrier, laden with construction materials, has sailed from Murmansk sea port for Kotelny Island, part of the Novosibirsk Islands archipelago, after a major upgrade, RIA Novosti reports.

"The tugs moved the nuclear-powered ship from the pier, and it sailed for Kotelny Island, one of the Novosibirsk Islands, where it will unload consignments onto fast shore ice for the first time," the press service said in a statement.

It took Murmansk port workers eight days to load 5,800 metric tons of various construction materials, cables and containers aboard the ship. The Sevmorput will spend about a month in the Arctic Ocean, after which it will return to Murmansk with a batch of containers.

The Sevmorput ice-class LASH ship was commissioned in December 1988. In March 2007, the ship was mothballed after expending the reactor's rated service life (over 100,000 hours) and due to lack of market demand. The ship's reactor was also made non-operational but could be reactivated anytime. In late 2013, Rosatom General Director Sergei Kiriyenko signed an order on reactivating the ship. The Sevmorput successfully completed a trial run in December 2015 and will now be used to deliver freight to Arctic regions, help develop the continental shelf and exploit the Pavlovskoye lead-zinc ore deposit in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. It will also be used for other regional delivery missions.

Earlier, Rosatomflot sources said Zapsibgazprom-Gazifikatsiya Ltd. owned the consignment, with Sovfrakht acting as the company's agent. The consignment will be unloaded on Kotelny Island with the ship's own cranes.