Thursday, 16 June 2016
Arktika, the most powerful nuclear icebreaker launched by Russia
Russia on 16 June 2016 launched the new Project 22220 nuclear icebreaker dubbed ‘Arktika’. It was launched from the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg – the second largest city of Russia. Project 22220 is the world’s largest and most powerful vessel of its kind and it has been built at the Baltic Shipyard of the United Shipbuilding Corporation of Russia.
Key characteristics of Arktika
• The vessel is 189.5 yards long and 37.1 yards wide.
• It displaces 33540 metric tons and is fitted with two specifically designed RITM-200 nuclear power reactors.
• Nuclear fuel for the vessel's RITM-200 nuclear-power reactors is to be produced by the TVEL fuel company by the end of 2016.
• It is the first Russian nuclear icebreaker to be fully built in modern-day Russia.
• It will be able to escort convoys in Arctic and can break ice up to almost 10 feet (3 meter) thick.
The Baltic Shipyard will be building two more Project 22220 icebreakers by 2020 in collaboration with Rosatom. The two ships will be built at a cost of 84.4 billion rubles (1.2 billion dollars) and will be commissioned in December 2019 and December 2020 respectively.
According to Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko, the successful launch of ‘Arktika’ icebreaker indicates that the Russia is able to start the serial production of nuclear icebreakers. It is estimated that Russia may need at least five Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers for Arctic exploration.
Further, it will give boost to Russia in exploring oil and natural gas in Arctic region as it is believed that Arctic shelf holds huge amounts of oil and natural gas. Russia has been laying claims to deposits within its offshore border areas, as have the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark.
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