After the launch of the Suffren on July 12 in the presence of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, a new stage was reached with the divergence of the reactor on December 17, 2019, a prelude to the first sea trials before its delivery in 2020.
Divergence consists in triggering, for the first time, a controlled nuclear reaction in the heart.
As part of the Barracuda submarine program led by the French Armaments Directorate (DGA), Suffren’s nuclear boiler was designed under the responsibility of the CEA's Directorate of Military Applications (DAM). The project was led by the nuclear propulsion department of the DAM, which relied on the CEA's nuclear power department.
Project management was entrusted to TechnicAtome, designer of the boiler room, and Naval Group was responsible for the construction of the pressure fixtures and the integration of the nuclear boiler on board the Barracuda.
The success of taking this step is the result of teamwork made possible also by the commitment of the very large number of companies which are participating in this project. It illustrates the capacity of the country (State agencies and industry) to carry out complex nuclear reactor projects.