MURMANSK, November 1 (Itar-Tass) —— The Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in St Petersburg begins the construction of a nuclear-powered icebreaker of the next generation. Plasma cutting of metal for the hull of the new icebreaker began on Thursday in the presence of representatives of Murmansk-based Atomflot enterprise of Rosatom state-owned corporation, Yekaterina Ananyeva, the spokesperson for Atomflot, told Itar-Tass.
Atomflot Director-General Vyacheslav Ruksha said the start of the construction of the next-generation nuclear-powered icebreaker is a most important event not only for Rosatom and the Baltiysky Zavod but also for entire country. “This means not only the revival of civilian nuclear-powered icebreakers’ construction in Russia but also the guarantee that the nuclear icebreaker fleet will operate effectively in the Arctic and along the Arctic Route in the next 40-50 years,” he said.
Rosatom, Atomflot and the Baltiysky Zavod concluded the contract to build the flagship of Russia’s next generation nuclear icebreakers on August 23, 2012. The ship is to be ready for sailing and delivered to Atomflot’s base in Murmansk by the end of 2017. The laying down of the icebreaker at the shipyard is scheduled for November 2013 and its launching for November 2015. The reactor of the Ritm-200 type is included in the icebreaker’s nuclear power plant. The icebreaker’s design is by Aisberg central design office.
The new icebreaker will be able to operate effectively in the estuaries of Siberian rivers and navigate the Arctic Route. The world’s biggest and most powerful icebreaker, with the increase of its width to 34 meters instead of the 30-meter width of Arktika-type icebreakers, will be able to ensure the passage of tankers with the displacement of up to 70,000 tons even through ice three-meter thick.