In mid-December 2011, the keel was laid at the shipyard in Galati. When a ship is constructed, there are a number of traditions relating to certain milestones. The laying of the keel means that a large section of the hull is ready, so the structure becomes recognisable as a vessel. As part of the ceremony to mark this, SKB’s Head of Operations Bo Sundman welded a ten-krona coin into the hull of the growing vessel.
The vessel is being built by the Dutch company, Damen Shipyard Group. It will be able to transport 12 fuel and waste containers, two more than Sigyn. There were also a number of environmental considerations behind the decision to build a new vessel to replace the long-serving Sigyn, which is now 30-years-old.
“The speed of the new vessel can be varied more, so Sigrid will be more economical in terms of fuel,” says SKB project manager, Jenny Holmström.
Emissions will be lower due to reduced fuel consumption, and several systems using hydraulic oil have been replaced by electric motors, thereby reducing environmental impact.
With its greater capacity, the vessel can also transport large components, such as low-pressure turbines and steam generators. This will be needed the day when Swedish nuclear power plants are to be dismantled.
Model has been tested
A model of M/S Sigrid, six metres long, has been tested in various indoor pools to verify all the calculations. The model has been tested in deep water, shallow water, waves, broken ice, and ice of varying thickness.
“We've checked that the vessel meets our requirements, such as those concerning manoeuvrability and the ability to cut through ice. Later, we’ll be conducting a series of tests of the real vessel – in the harbour and in the open sea – to check that the final vessel meets our requirements,” adds project manager Jenny Holmström.
Sigrid’s initial task will be to transport radioactive waste from the Swedish nuclear power plants to the Interim Storage Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel in Oskarshamn, and the Final Repository for Short-lived Radioactive Waste in Forsmark. In the future, she will also transport spent nuclear fuel from the interim storage facility in Oskarshamn to the planned Spent Fuel Repository in Forsmark for final disposal. The planned arrival time for the new vessel in Oskarshamn is May 2013.
Facts M/S Sigrid
Estimated delivery: 2013
Length: 99.5 metres
Width: 18.6 metres
Cargo capacity (number of containers): 12
Draught: approx. 4.5 metres
Cruising speed: 12 knots