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China’s plans for a nuclear-powered icebreaker ship

Checking in on China’s Nuclear Icebreaker, Speculation has trailed the news that China’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker ship was in the works. The Diplomat, By Trym Aleksander Eiterjord September 05, 2019  In June 2018, on the heels of China’s Arctic White PaperThe Diplomat reported on a tender issued by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the country’s largest nuclear operator, to build what would be China’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker.

Calling for bids to provide technical consultancy services on a “nuclear-powered icebreaker and comprehensive support vessel demonstration project,” the tender left ample room for speculation. The bidder would provide “verification and consultancy services” throughout all stages of the project — from basic design to construction and testing — both on the vessel itself and the onboard nuclear propulsion system. ……

Nuclear icebreakers might, on the one hand, mark a convergence of China’s Arctic and broader naval ambitions. On the other hand, however, such plans are likely to produce unfavorable optics for a country eager to be seen as a benign partner in the region. Unilaterally developing ships that would give the country outsized access to the maritime Arctic runs the risk of undermining China’s desired image – that of a gentle, “near-Arctic” giant.   https://thediplomat.com/2019/09/checking-in-on-chinas-nuclear-icebreaker/

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September 10, 2019 - Posted by | China, technology

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