Sigrid takes to the water

29 October 2012

The hull of SKB's new ship for transporting used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste has been launched. Once outfitted, the M/S Sigrid is set to enter service in 2013, serving as a linchpin in Sweden's nuclear infrastructure.

The board of management of Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) - the company responsible for storing Swedish nuclear waste – decided in December 2010 to build a new purpose-built ship as a replacement of the M/S Sigyn. That ship has been in service since 1982, transporting used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste from Swedish nuclear power plants to storage facilities near Oskarshamn and Forsmark.

Sigrid launch (SKB)
The Sigrid is launched into the River Danube (Image: SKB)

Designed by Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands, the new ship - named the M/S Sigrid - was built at the company's shipyard in Galati, Romania and its hull was launched four days ago.

SKB operations manager Bo Sundman: "Today's launch is an important milestone in the project. Two years ago, this ship only existed as a drawing. Now it's a reality. It is a result of good skills and good project management."

Sigrid is equipped with a double hull, four engines and redundant systems for safety and security. It is designed to be more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than its predecessor.

Jenny Holmstrom, SKB's project manager for the construction of vessels, noted that much work still needs to be completed before the Sigrid can enter service. "Among other things, the installation of all equipment is to be completed and put into operation, and staff spaces on board will be completed," she said. The ship will include accommodation for 21 people and will feature a sauna, gym and library for use by the crew.

Test voyages on the Black Sea are scheduled to be conducted in March 2013, after which the Sigrid will set sail for Sweden. The naming ceremony for the vessel will take place when it arrives at its home port of Oskarshamn in Sweden around mid-2013.

At 99.5 metres long and 18.6 metres wide, the Sigrid is slightly larger than the Sigyn. It is capable of carrying twelve nuclear waste containers, compared with the ten that Sigyn could hold.

It will not be until late 2013 that Sigrid will fully take over from Sigyn, and it has yet to be decided what will happen to Sigyn.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News