The Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika of project 22220 has reached the North Pole said the Baltic Shipyard on Saturday.
“On October 3, 2020, at 18.00, the future flagship of the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet, the nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika, project 22220, under the flag of the Baltic Shipyard, reached the North Pole. During a two-week trip from St. Petersburg to the city of Murmansk, specialists of the delivery team of the Baltic Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) and representatives of the customer checked the operation of the nuclear icebreaker in ice conditions. In the course of the tests being carried out, the vessel fulfilled the “maximum program”, reaching the North Pole of the Earth. In the coming days the nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika will arrive in Murmansk, where it is planned to sign an acceptance certificate,” says the statement.
Rosatom, the Russian state atomic energy corporation has supplied the RITM-200 reactor units for the icebreakers. Each icebreaker uses two RITM-200 reactors. FSUE Atomflot, a division of Rosatom maintains the fleet of icebreakers and is based in the city of Murmansk.
Two more of the project 22220 series of nuclear icebreaker ‘Ural’ and ‘Sibir’ (translated Siberia) are under construction. The shipbuilder has received orders for two more in the current series. These ice breakers will replace its predecessors.
The first-ever Russian nuclear icebreaker ‘Lenin’ (now out of service) was put into operation on December 3, 1959. Arktika, Sibir, Rossiya (Russia), Sovetskiy Soyuz (Soviet Union) and 50 Let Pobedy ( 50 Years of Victory) are of Arktika class icebreakers. Taimyr and Vaigach built by Wärtsilä Marine at Helsinki Shipyard in Finland, are other icebreakers and are smaller than the Arktika class. The existing Arktika and Sibir icebreakers are being dismantled by Rosatom. Taimyr and the Yamal may be decommissioned by 2029, and the Vaygach by 2028. The 50 Let Pobedy icebreaker (50 Years of Victory), commissioned in 2007 will continue operating till 2041. Rossiya and Sovetskiy Soyuz have been already decommissioned.
Russia is the only country with a nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet in the world capable of reaching the Arctic Ocean.
Image: The Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika. Alexander Demianchuk/TASS