• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

French and other proposals for Canadian nuclear icebreaker (Polar 10) project, late 1970s / early 1980s

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
13,979
Reaction score
3,813
Does anyone have any information on the French design at least? The program was a precursor to the equally ill-fated (non-nuclear) Polar 8 icebreaker program of the 1980s. The only hard info I have on the French proposal at the moment is that the reactor was a CAS (Advanced Series Boiler) reactor, from the same series of reactors planned for among other things the PH 75 amphibious assault ship and the C75 missile cruiser.

The proposals included two domestic designs, both from German and Milne Ltd. of Montreal*, one purely nuclear powered, the other a hybrid. Other known proposals included ones from Great Britain, the United States, and Germany.


*Also known as German & Milne (Marine Transportation Consultants and Naval Architects), Montreal.
 
Last edited:

TinWing

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
893
Reaction score
74
The only hard info I have on the French proposal at the moment is that the reactor was a CAS (Advanced Series Boiler) reactor, from the same series of reactors planned for among other things the PH 75 amphibious assault ship and the C75 missile cruiser.

"C75 Missile Cruiser?" I've never heard of this one. What is your source and what information do you have? If the F70 Cassards were replacements for the 4 Tartar armed T47 destroyers, I can only assume C75 would have been the direct successor to the 3 Mascura units, the singleton cruiser Colbert and the 2 cruiser sized Suffren destroyers?
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
13,979
Reaction score
3,813
Mentioned here, with a Google Translate link below (h/t to Archibald who pointed me towards this!)


Had the designation Corvette nucléaire, though this was likely something of a cover designation given the period concerned. The non-nuclear Georges Leygues-class frigates were subject to similar manoeuvrings, for example.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
13,979
Reaction score
3,813
Back to the Polar 10. Thanks to this handy online resource from the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, I found a few interesting things. Among them is a reference that seems to suggest that CECO Consultants Ltd. was also involved in the domestic side of the Polar 10 project, at least at the outset:
3492 ------- CECO Nuclear Icebreaker 1976

This reference may refer to German & Milne's hybrid (nuclear-conventional) design, though it is not 100% certain:
3789 --------- Propulsion System Study for 1979 Icebreaker [three boxes]

This reference though is definitely related to German & Milne's two primary designs for the program:
3800 -------- C.C.G. Nuclear Icebreaker 1975-79

This reference seems to be in regards as to the pure nuclear design, circa 1980:
3855 -------- Nuclear Icebreaker 1979-80

While this seems to be related to the hybrid design:
3856 --------- Nuclear Polar Icebreaker 1979

It is unclear if this is related to Polar 10, though it seems likely. Perhaps a study into a common propeller for both Polar 7 and Polar 10?:
l3870 ------- Polar Icebreaker Propeller Study 1976-80

Little ambiguity about this one:
3889 -------- Nuclear Icebreaker Propeller 1973,77,80

I think these are the two separate design proposals as of 1979:
6015 --------- Proposal Nuclear Icebreaker 1979
6016 --------- Proposal Nuclear Icebreaker 1979

Was this one a variant of the pure design with a Rolls Royce reactor? Possibly even directly related to the British proposal for the program?:
6017 --------- Proposal Nuclear Icebreaker 1979 Rolls Royce

Could this one be a variant of the pure nuclear design with a Franco-Canadian reactor?:
6018 --------- Proposal Nuclear Icebreaker 1979 Alsthom Canatom


Interestingly, with regards as to the supposedly non-nuclear Polar 7 project, I found mention of at least two German & Milne nuclear powered designs:
D1206 C3316 Polar 7 Nuclear Icebreaker CCG. 1974
D1222 C3393 Polar 7 Nuclear Icebreaker n.d.
And a reference to other documentation which seems to suggest that interest in a nuclear powered icebreaker actually dated back to 1965, six years before work began on the Polar 7 project:
3393 1220 Polar 7 Nuclear Icebreaker [three cases]1965,74-75
Quite likely all this ultimately led to the Polar 10 project being approved in 1976.

This reference supports the idea that the work on nuclear designs for Polar 7 were split off into the Polar 10 project. It also indicates that CECO were involved in the Polar 7 project, at least pre-split:
3540 -------- CECO Polar 7 Nuclear Icebreaker 1976-77
 
Last edited:

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
5,125
Reaction score
3,000
The only hard info I have on the French proposal at the moment is that the reactor was a CAS (Advanced Series Boiler) reactor, from the same series of reactors planned for among other things the PH 75 amphibious assault ship and the C75 missile cruiser.

"C75 Missile Cruiser?" I've never heard of this one. What is your source and what information do you have? If the F70 Cassards were replacements for the 4 Tartar armed T47 destroyers, I can only assume C75 would have been the direct successor to the 3 Mascura units, the singleton cruiser Colbert and the 2 cruiser sized Suffren destroyers?

Le fauteuil de Colbert (Colbert's armchair - that name, really !) is a well informed blog about the French Navy. Admiral Henri Nomy in the 50's tried to get nuclear-powered surface units build but mostly failed. So yes, France at some point dreamed of Long Beach CGNs... but only briefly.

Two decades later in the mid-70's PH75 flirted with nuclear propulsion (and it later hatched PA75 > Charles de Gaulle) but for different reasons. It was to be an extremely versatile "swiss-knife crisis-ship".
With nuclear propulsion it could be autonomous notably during disaster relief missions - think of Japan in 2011, with its thoroughly ravaged coastline and 19000 dead in a huge earthquake-tsunami-nuclear inferno.
PH75 mission(s) would have been a hodgepodge of training ship (think Arromanches) ASW (think Invincible) commando carrier (Iwo Jima, Centaurs LPH) and (with Harriers having been tested on Foch and Jeanne d'Arc late 1973) a touch of Zumwalt SCS (and Garibaldi, and Asturias...)
 

Similar threads

Top