Russia Launches ‘World’s Biggest & Most Powerful’ Nuclear Icebreaker

Russia Launches ‘World’s Biggest & Most Powerful’ Nuclear Icebreaker

The first serially-produced Sibir nuclear-powered icebreaker, designed to reinforce Russia’s leadership in the Arctic, was commissioned on Friday at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg.

It is one of the three vessels part of Project 22220 which are to become the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakers.

The lead ship of the project, the Arktika, was commissioned last year.

Designed for transporting cargo via the Northern Sea Route, the Sibir was ordered in May 2015 and is due to be delivered in 2020. The third icebreaker, the Ural, is planned to be delivered in 2021.

Sibir has a displacement of 33,500 tons and is 173.3 meters long with a beam of 34 meters, and has a crew of 75.

The double-draft design allows for operations in both deep Arctic waters and estuaries of polar rivers. The vessel is powered by two nuclear reactors with an output of 175 MW.

The nuclear-powered Sibir will be capable of breaking ice fields up to three meters thick, making way for LNG carriers delivering Russian gas to Asian customers. It will also carry out rescue work in ice conditions and ice-free waters.

Arktika icebreaker © Svyatoslav Akimov / Sputnik

Arktika icebreaker © Svyatoslav Akimov / Sputnik

Arktika icebreaker © Svyatoslav Akimov / Sputnik

Arktika icebreaker © Svyatoslav Akimov / Sputnik

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