The nuclear attack submarine Suffren , the flagship of the Barracuda program, experienced the first divergence of its nuclear reactor this Tuesday, December 17, 2019. This new symbolic event, after the closure of the hull (April 2016), the launch (July 12, 2019) in the presence of the President of the Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and the launching (August 1, 2019; see illustration), opens up very practical perspectives, that is to say the start of sea trials of the boat during the year 2020. The French Navy remains discreet on the subject but the objective of admission to active service at the end of 2020 remains.
The K15 reactor (150 MW thermal) was designed with the Atomic Energy Commission ( CEA TechnicAtome, prime contractor . Naval group was responsible for integrating the nuclear boiler compartment into the submarine and connecting the various utilities with the propulsion compartment.
The fuel loading of the K15 in Suffren would have taken place in September 2019, according to information communicated in June and July 2019, within the Cachin Secret Base Nuclear Installation ( INBS ). A mobile intervention workshop made it possible, thanks to its handling means, to load the nuclear reactor with fuel rods.
The first divergence of the nuclear reactor was planned for November 2019 after a set of dockside tests following a gradual ramp-up of the submarine's nuclear boiler module. It appears that there has been a schedule slippage of three to four weeks.
the first divergence of the nuclear boiler room of the nuclear attack submarine Suffren took place for five hours . In concrete terms, this involves the activation of a neutron source allowing the start of the fission reaction within the nuclear core. The reaction is controlled through actions on the moderator materials arranged in a mechanism that can be raised or lowered in the reactor vessel. Acting on the height of this mechanism allows fission to increase in power and lower it, to slow down, or even almost stop it.
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