Brazil produces fuel for indigenous nuclear sub
Fuel for the first nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) in the Brazilian Navy has been produced for the first time at the Electronuclear Energy Generation Laboratory (LABGENE) in Sao Paulo, leveraging a partnership between the navy and fuel cycle organisation Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB).
The Brazilian Navy Technological Center in São Paulo and INB reached an agreement in 2021 for the manufacture of uranium dioxide tablets to use for submarine propulsion. These tablets were produced between August and December 2021 to be integrated with nuclear turbines developed by LABGENE.
‘After production, these inserts will undergo several tests to validate the fuel element design, under nuclear safety aspects, in order to meet the requirements of the licensing process,’ the Brazilian Navy noted in a 4 January statement.
On 25 November 2021, the Brazilian Navy signed an agreement to start building the hull of the future SSN (called Álvaro Alberto).
French shipbuilder Naval Group is providing technical assistance across all aspects of the future SSN except for the nuclear reactor.
Shephard Defence Insight forecasts that Álvaro Alberto will be commissioned in 2034 for an estimated production cost of $2.4 billion.
The nuclear submarine is part of Brazil’s PROSUB project that also includes domestic development and construction of build four diesel-electric Riachuelo-class boats.
More from Naval Warfare
The limited and tentative nature of a deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the UN and Turkey to allow foodstuff exports from Ukrainian ports, is unlikely to shift the security situation in the Black Sea significantly.
India wants to build submarines domestically, but its efforts are consequently beset by all sorts of difficulties and delays.
Shipbuilders working on the future Virginia-class submarine USS Massachusetts have joined all the boat's hull sections to form a single watertight unit, marking the completion of the pressure hull.
Blame can be apportioned to various sources for the incessant delays in Malaysia's corvette programme, with the first ship still several years away.