Lead-bismuth cooled reactor plants for nuclear submarines
Since 1952 work on development of heavy liquid metal reactor plants with lead-bismuth coolant for nuclear submarines has been performed in OKB “GIDROPRESS”.
The first reactor plant which ensured a successful solution of the task on development of a nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) for nuclear submarines was a 27/VT rig constructed in Obninsk at the industrial site of the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering in 1958. The NSSS documentation was developed by specialists of OKB “GIDROPRESS” and the NSSS equipment was manufactured by Podolsk Machine Building Plant named after Ordzhonikidze. The 27/VT rig is a ground-based submarine prototype of design 627/VT which is a full-scale half of the nuclear submarine board including reactor, steam generator, pumps, primary and secondary pipelines, turbine plant, control system and other service systems.
The 27/VT rig was constructed for complete engineering development of each equipment and system of NSSS, refinement of reactor plant operational conditions and control as well as for submarine crew training.
For the first time in the world a liquid metal reactor plant of 17500 HP power was installed in a small area and provided with high secondary steam parameters (pressure 42 kg/сm2, temperature 440 °С) and primary pressure about 20 kg/сm2.
Nuclear submarine of design 645 (Nuclear submarine К-27)
Nuclear submarine of design 705K
In the beginning of 80s two NSSS BM-40/A for the nuclear submarine series of design 705K and 9 steam generators MP-7M for three commercial nuclear submarines of design 705 were manufactured and commissioned.
Thus, in the beginning of 80s the Navy included six most high-speed and maneuvering nuclear submarines of designs 705К and 705 equipped with NSSS BM-40/А and OK-550 which were known abroad as “Alpha” entered into the Guinness Book of Records due to their high-speed parameters.
Within the frame of conversion of a unique Russian reactor technology applied to nuclear submarines the small-power reactor plants of SVBR-type (SVBR stands for the Russian acronym of a lead-bismuth fast reactor) are developed in OKB “GIDROPRESS” for nuclear power sources of civilian use.