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Water-Jet Cutting for Submarine Dismantlement


Technology of Nuclear Submarine Dismantlement Using Abrasive Water-Jet Cutting Method

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-DEC/Decommissioning/Fission Reactors
  • ENV-OTH/Other/Environment
  • MAN-MPS/Manufacturing, Planning, Processing and Control/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAN-OTH/Other/Manufacturing Technology
  • OTH-OTH/Other/Other

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Alexandrov K A

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Electrophysics, Russia, Sverdlovsk reg., Ekaterinburg

Project summary

The major objective of the Project «Technology of Nuclear Submarine Dismantlement Using Abrasive Water-Jet Cutting Method» is to develop prototype equipment and technologies on the basis of this equipment for stripping rubber coating from submarine body and for abrasive water-jet cutting of this body.

SUE SPEKTR has developed a prototype of the water-jet cutting equipment which can help to resolve two pressing technological problems of submarines dismantlement:

· rubber coating stripping from the steel submarine body;
· cutting of the submarine metal body.

Currently stripping of outer rubber coating is performed manually by air-operated hand-held cutters. This method is labor-intensive and prohibited by sanitary supervision bodies due to the occupational diseases caused by strong vibration.

Flame cutting of the body after the rubber coating stripping is the environmentally hazardous method due to escape of metal oxides and paint combustion products in the atmosphere and is unacceptable for titanium cutting. The alternative method is abrasive water-jet cutting, which is absolutely environmentally safe. The equipment available at SUE SPEKTR enables decontamination of the equipment adjacent to nuclear submarine core. In case of cutting the core out of submarine body the issue of radioactive contaminants dispersal are eliminated.

In 1993 laboratory tests of rubber coating stripping from submarine body have been performed using domestic water-jet cutting equipment of the first generation. The results have significantly exceeded productivity rate of the manual method.

Fabrication of equipment prototypes for stripping of rubber coating from metallic body of submarine and for water-jet cutting of body into fragments suitable for utilization is stipulated in the course of project performance. Technology optimization and demonstration at full-scale fragments of submarine body with participation of Zvyozdochka experts is envisaged. Development of equipment and technology will allow expanding experience of this technology implementation to other enterprises, engaged in disassembling of nuclear submarines.


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