Keel laying of fourth nuclear icebreaker set for May 26th
Three of Russia’s powerful new nuclear icebreakers are currently at the Baltic shipyard in St. Petersburg at varying stage of readiness. The three are “Arktika”, “Sibir” and “Ural”.
After long delays, “Arktika” was supposed to sail north to Murmansk this spring. The schedule, however, is still uncertain as one of the three engines was seriously damaged after a short circuit during sea trials in February.
The broken engine needs to be replaced.
Baltic Shipyard announced on Thursday it will lay down the fourth icebreaker of the class on May 26th. Project 22220 is the most powerful icebreakers ever built, sailing with two RITM-200 reactors with a capacity of 175 MW delivering some 81,000 hp to the propellers.
The shipyard said the new icebreaker will be named “Yakutia” after the huge Siberian region between the Taymyr Peninsula and the Chukotka Peninsula. About one third of the coastline along the Northern Sea Route is in Yakutia.
Last fall, the state nuclear corporation Rosatom signed an agreement with the Government of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) about conducting a feasibility study aimed at building onshore small nuclear power plants based on the same reactor technology as powering the new icebreakers.
The RITM-200 reactor is designed as a maritime propulsion unit, but can also be used to provide electricity to remote and isolated areas and consumers, Rosatom said at the time.
Contract for a fifth nuclear-powered icebreaker of the Project 22220 is signed with the Baltic Yard aimed to be commissioned sometime between 2026 and 2028.
The first of the even larger icebreaker of the Lider-class will be built the Zvezda shipyard in the Far East.
All of the nuclear-powered icebreakers will have Atomflot in Murmansk as home port.
Russia is the only country in the world that operate a fleet of civilian nuclear-powered vessels. China, though, is working on the concept for building its first nuclear-powered icebreaker, as previosly reported by the Barents Observer.