Russia’s new nuclear-powered icebreaker, Arktika, today completed its first operational voyage — piloting the Siyaniye Severa dry cargo ship to the entrance of the Gulf of Ob in the Russian Arctic, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has announced.
The achievement «demonstrated the efficiency of the vessel’s operation in a sea lane,» Leonid Irlitsa, first deputy general director of Atomflot, said. «The excellent manoeuvrability and draft of the nuclear-powered ship allow it to guarantee safe icebreaker escorts on one of the most intense navigable sections of the Northern Sea Route,» he added.
Arktika had left the port of Murmansk on 14 November for its first pilotage and will return there in mid-December, before starting its next mission to the Northern Sea Route, Rosatom said.
Arktika is the first of three LK-60 icebreakers, which are dual-draught (8.55 or 10.5m) wide-beam (34m) ships of 25,450 dwt or 33,540 dwt with ballast, able to handle 3m of ice. They each have two RITM-200 reactors of 175 MWt each, delivering 60 MWe at the propellers via twin turbine-generators and three motors. Sibir is expected to enter operation in 2021 and Ural in 2022.