China builds 30,000-tonne nuclear-powered ship
South China Morning Post reported that while the purpose of the ship has not been specified, the plan is to have a 152-metre long, 32-metre wide and with a displacement of 30,000 tonnes.
China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) has invited bids for the contract to build the vessel and it is described in the tender documents as an “experimental platform”.
The deadline for interested parties to tender was Wednesday (yesterday), with no bids permitted from outside mainland China.
The specification is small for an aircraft carrier, but a military affairs expert said it would help develop China’s shipbuilding ability. At present, its only nuclear-powered vessels are submarines.
However, developing its own nuclear-powered ship as an icebreaker is bein seen as China’s way of expanding its reach significantly in the Arctic Ocean.
The ship will be able to be fitted with two 25 megawatt compact pressurised water reactors with thermal power output of 200MW, which could propel the ship to a maximum speed of 11.5 knots, according to CGN’s project description. ■