Russia’s fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers is the key element of several Arctic projects. Icebreakers’ tasks are to escort vessels delivering cargoes for military bases in the Arctic, to support large scale projects on development of Arctic shelf, etc. Building up of the national fleet of icebreakers is underway.
On July 25, 2016, Baltiysky Zavod – Sudostrojenije (United Shipbuilding Corporation) laid down the Ural, the second serial 60MW icebreaker of project 22220. The contract between FSUE Atomflot and Baltiysky Zavod foresees the construction of three nuclear-powered icebreakers: lead icebreaker Arktika and two serial icebreakers – Sibir and Ural.
The Arktika, lead icebreaker of Project 22220 was laid down at Baltiysky Zavod in November 2013 and launched on June 16, 2016. The Sibir, first serial icebreaker of the Project, was laid down on May 26, 2015. The contract for construction of two serial icebreakers of Project 22220 was signed by Baltiysky Zavod – Sudostrojenije LLC and Rosatom Corporation in May 2014. The contract is valued at RUB 84.4 bln.
The Ural to outrun the Arktika
Sergey Kiriyenko, Director General of Rosatom Corporation, emphasized that the construction of the series fully complies with the schedule: “Once in two years we lay down a new icebreaker. This ensures a serial loading for all the companies. The companies that have finished their work on the lead icebreaker are already busy with the new work on the Ural. According to him, the series will replace the current icebreakers and ensure higher characteristics and capabilities.
In fact, the second serial icebreaker was laid down ahead of schedule. “Having provided the Baltiysky Zavod with advance payments and having laid down the third icebreaker with a time margin we provide the shipyard with more opportunities, we ensure a buffer time. It is necessary to restore the entire technological chain. A number of companies have been doing nothing for a long period of time and revive their operations step by step. The key task is in restoration of the entire technological”, said Sergey Kiriyenko.
“We will be in charge of smooth collaboration of all USC subdivisions with our customers and, of course, we will improve job quality to ensure the required performance and results expected by the customer, to build the icebreakers within the scheduled time,” said USC President Alexei Rakhmanov.
According to him, the Ural is likely to be built faster than the Arktika as the shipbuilders will accumulate the experience. He also said the share of import components is minimal. Fundamentally, it will be a Russian icebreaker, emphasized USC President.
It should be noted that Russian Maritime Register of Shipping will supervise the icebreakers throughout their operational lifetime.
Vladimir Rozvorsky, Director of RS Branch for Nuclear Ships, emphasized that Russian Maritime Register of Shipping is the only classification society in the world to have its own rules for classification and construction of nuclear-powered ships. “RS classification rules will be applied to a series of 60 MW icebreakers being built at the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard. The vessels will obtain certificates of class upon completion of certification and tests. This will mean that a vessel fully complies with classification requirements applicable for construction of nuclear-powered ships and can operate safely in Arctic seas.”
Meanwhile, the development of Russia’s fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers will go on. “We should think about the future. A specific feature of the nuclear industry is the planning for 2030-2040 – it is normal. The contracts we sign today cover a century-long period,” emphasized Sergey Kiriyenko.
He said the designing of the Leader-class icebreaker of 110 MW able to break through 4-meter thick ice would begin this year.
USC President Alexei Rakhmanov added that designing of the icebreaker will take about a year and a half. “Then we will think when the first sections are to be laid down and when the construction is to begin... It will require more experiments, more science”, he said.
There is no need for a large number of such icebreakers. “"These are vessels with unique characteristics for unique tasks," summarized the head of Rosatom.
About icebreakers of Project 22220:
Multi-purpose nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220 being built to the class of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping at Baltiysky Zavod – Sudostrojenije had been ordered national nuclear corporation ROSATOM. They will be the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreaker in the world.
Key specifications of 60 MW icebreakers: Speed – 22 knots (at clean water); Length - 173.3 m (160 m as per CWL); Beam - 34 m (33 m as per CWL); Depth – 15.2 m; Designed draught — 10.5 m / 8.65 m; Maximum icebreaking capability – 2.8 m; Full displacement - 33,540 t, crew – 75. Specified lifetime – 40 years.
The icebreakers will be powered by two RITM-200 reactors of 175 MW each. The system was developed specially for these ships.
The ship was designed by Central Design Bureau Iceberg in 2009. The icebreaker’s advanced dual-draft capability makes it suitable for operations both in the Arctic waters and in the mouths of the northern rivers.
The icebreakers will be operated in deep waters of western Arctic areas (Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas) and in shallow waters of river estuaries (Yenisey’s mouth and the Gulf of Ob).
Photo release on keel-laying of 60 MW icebreaker Ural at Baltiysky Zavod shipyard >>>>