Longer life for icebreaker “Vaygach”
“Vaygach”, one of Russia’s six operational nuclear icebreakers, will have its nuclear reactor’s lifetime extended from the original 175,000 hours to 200,000 hours, making it capable to operate in Arctic waters for five more years, TASS reports.
“Vaygach” is one of four nuclear icebreakers operated by Rosatomflot. She is a shallow-draught vessel capable of entering the mouth of the Siberian rivers. She has been in service in the Arctic since 1990.
The vessel’s reactor will have spent its resources by the end of 2017. A prolongation will mean that the icebreaker can continue to sail until new icebreakers are commissioned.
As previously reported, Russia is in the process of unfolding a major icebreaker program, which includes both nuclear-powered and conventional diesel-engine vessels. The jewel in the program is the LK-60 (project 22220) icebreaker, which will be able to ship through three meters thick ice. At least two LK-60 vessels are planned built, the first one of them, the «Arktika», is to be ready for service in 2019.
Russia is also building the world’s biggest diesel-engine icebreakers, the LK-25 (project 22600). The first vessel of the kind named “Viktor Chernomyrdin” is built for the Russian state company Rosmorport and is significantly behind schedule.