Launch of Arktika Ship Shows Russia's Ability to Churn Out Icebreakers

© Sputnik / press service of the company "Baltic Shipyard" / Go to the photo bankThe Arktika, the first vessel in the series of three Project 22220 LK-60 Nuclear Icebreakers being built by Baltic Shipyard Shipbuilding.
The Arktika, the first vessel in the series of three Project 22220 LK-60 Nuclear Icebreakers being built by Baltic Shipyard Shipbuilding. - Sputnik International
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The successful launch of Russia's new Project 22220 nuclear-powered Arktika icebreaker suggests that the country is able to start the serial production of nuclear icebreakers, Russian nuclear energy corporation Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko said Thursday.

ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Earlier on Thursday, Russia's new Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker, dubbed Arktika, was launched from the Baltic Shipyard in Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg. Project 22220 is the world’s largest and most powerful vessel of its kind.

"This victory [launch] indicates that we are ready for the serial production of new nuclear icebreakers," Kirienko told reporters after the launch.

The nuclear icebreaker Yamal during Arctic exploration in the Kara Sea - Sputnik International
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The Arktika became the first Russian nuclear icebreaker to be fully built in modern-day Russia, he added, noting that the project is being financed as planned.

Currently, the Baltic Shipyard has a contract worth 84.4 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) with Rosatom to build two more Project 22220 icebreakers by 2020. The ships will be commissioned in December 2019 and December 2020 respectively.

The Project 22220 vessel is 189.5 yards long and 37.1 yards wide. The ship displaces 33,540 metric tons. Fitted with two specifically designed RITM-200 nuclear-power reactors, new vessels of this kind will be able to escort convoys in the Arctic, breaking ice up to almost 10 feet thick. Nuclear fuel for the vessel's RITM-200 nuclear-power reactors is to be produced by the TVEL fuel company by the end of the year.

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