Russia: Construction of World’s Largest Icebreaker Progresses

Baltiysky Zavod, a subsidiary of United Shipbuilding Corporation, yesterday held a keel laying ceremony for the new generation nuclear icebreaker of Project 22220. When finished, the icebreaker LK-60 will be the largest and most powerful icebreaker in the world with an approximate lifespan of 40 years.

As Rosatom (Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation) reports, the icebreaker will have the length of 173.3 m, width – 34 m, designed draught – 10.5 m, minimum working draught – 8.55 m and a displacement of 33,540 t. The nuclear power installation will use a new integral reactor RITM-200 designed by ROSATOM’s Nizhniy Novgorod-based OKBM Afrikantov. It will be more reliable, economical (the core needs refueling once in seven years) and nearly twice smaller than existing reactors.

By her technical characteristics, this state-of-the-art nuclear icebreaker is a double-draught ship capable of operating in both the Northern Sea Route lines and rivers of the Arctic region. Owing to a greater width (34 m) than the existing icebreakers (30 m), the LK-60 will be able alone to steer tankers of up to 70,000 tons displacement in the Arctic. It will be for the first time that an icebreaker capable of passing 3-meter thick ice has been built.

The icebreaker detailed design was developed by CDB Aisberg in 2009. The new nuclear-propelled ship will differ from the previous generation of icebreakers in a special ballast system, which will allow her changing draught from the maximum to the minimum one over a certain period of time. Filling her ballast tanks with water, the nuclear icebreaker will “settle down” and raise the vessel while sailing in severe ice conditions.

The construction of the icebreaker is scheduled to be completed in December 2017.

November 6, 2013

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