Insurance for nuclear ice-breaker fleet

Publish date: September 6, 1998

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

Murmansk Shipping Company has signed an insurance policy for its civilian nuclear-powered ice-breakers. The premium is approximately $12.5 million.

The signing of an insurance policy marks the first time in the history of Russia’s civilian nuclear fleet that the operations of the nuclear-powered ships are insured against liability claims. According to the August issue of Nuclear Engineering International, the insurance policy includes the ice-breakers Arctica, Sovetsky Souz, Taimyr, Vaigach, Yamal and Russia. It does not include, however, the Siberia, one of the oldest nuclear-powered ice-breakers, which has not been in operation for several years. Murmansk Shipping Company has long delayed the repair of Siberia for financial and technical reasons. The exclusion of Siberia from the insurance deal is an indicator that the vessel’s life could come to an end.

It is still a unanswered question why the civilian container ship Sevmorput is not included into the insurance policy of Murmansk Shipping Company. The Industrial Insurance Company has insured the nuclear-powered ice-breakers for all possible damage incurred by their operation. Russian companies, members of the nuclear pool, will reinsure the risk. Earlier this summer, the local branch of the state nuclear inspection agency Gosatomnadzor said they would not give the nuclear-powered ice-breakers permission to operate any longer after this autumn if the Murmansk Shipping Company did not obtain insurance coverage.