BOLSHOI KAMEN /Primorye region/, September 8. /TASS/. Russia’s Zvezda Shipyard has begun the necessary paperwork to obtain a nuclear shipbuilding license, as it plans to bid for building the Leader nuclear icebreaker, the shipyard’s Director General Sergei Tseluiko told TASS on Friday.
"We have been building the largest dry dock in Russia that could be used for the construction of the Leader nuclear icebreaker," he said. "The company has begun the necessary paperwork to obtain a nuclear shipbuilding license, so after the dry dock is ready, it will be the only enterprise in Russia capable of building the Leader nuclear icebreaker," Tseluiko added.
According to the director general, it will take around one month and a half to obtain the license.
Head of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov earlier said that the technical project for the Leader nuclear icebreaker would be ready by the end of the year. He added that some 18 months would be needed to develop documentation for the icebreaker, while its construction would take another 30 months.
The 120 MW Leader icebreaker is to be the world’s only icebreaker capable of year-round operation along the Northern Sea Route, ploughing through ice as thick as four meters. According to earlier reports, the project cost may reach 70 bln rubles ($1.2 bln).
At present, Russia’s 60 MW LK-60class nuclear-powered icebreaker is considered as the most powerful in the world. The vessel is under construction at the Baltic Shipyard, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.