Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The TES-3: The Nuclear Tank

In 1957 the Ministry of Medium Machine Building of the USSR (read: Ministry of Atomic Energy) issued an ordered to the Kirov factory for a nuclear power station on a mobile chassis allowing for power generations in remote parts of the USSR. This vehicle received the name TES-3 (Transportable Nuclear Power System) along with the GABTU designation Object 27. Head designer Joseph Kotin settled for an enlarged T-10 chassis with 9 road wheels instead of the usual 7. Due to the large size and weight of the power system 4 chassis had to be linked. The reactor produced 1.5 megawatts of energy. In 1961 in the TES-3 was put into service with two different reactors being built and tested successfully during in the early '60s. However in 1965 it was taken out of general service. However the TES-3 was sent to the Kamchatka peninsula where it served for several decades. The TES-3 served as the basis for other vehicles of this type in the 1980s.

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