World’s Largest Nuclear Icebreaker Completes Maiden Voyage. On Diesel

Arktika, world's largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker, completes maiden voyage 5 photos
Photo: Rosatomflot
Arktika, the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakerArktika, the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakerArktika, the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakerArktika, the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreaker
The world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker took its first maiden voyage but, despite being nuclear-powered, made the trip fueled by diesel. Arktika will be out to sea again next year.
Completed in 2016, Arktika is the largest and most powerful icebreaker of its class. It was supposed to be fully functional this year, but the date was pushed back to 2020. Last week, Arktika made its maiden voyage meant to test functioning and maneuverability, the Moscow Times reports.

It returned to the shipyard in St. Petersburg, with state nuclear company Rosatom / Rosatomflot reporting satisfactory results. Sea trials will focus on the vessel’s ballast system, navigation equipment, anchors and electric installations, and maneuvering characteristics, the same media outlet says. The next outing will take place in March and April, will be longer and will see the vessel operating at full capacity.

Arktika is 173 meters long and 15 meters high, has 8 decks and 64 cabins accommodating 64 to 128 passengers and a crew of 75. Powered by two RITM-200 reactors with a thermal capacity of 175 MW each, it can travel at speeds of 21 knots and break through ice as thick as 3 meters, allowing it to transport liquefied natural gas from the Arctic. It is the first vessel of the kind designed for year-round navigation in the Northeast Passage.

Arktika is also the first and largest of a new class of nuclear-powered icebreakers commissioned and build in Russia, owned by the Russian Federation and operated by Rosatom. The Ural and the Sibir are expected to be commissioned in 2021 and 2022, while a 4th and 5th vessel in the class have contracts signed but are yet to begin construction.

Speaking of Arktika’s maiden voyage without reactors running, Vyacheslav Ruksha, the head of Russia’s Northern Sea Route directorate, said that certain issues came up that prompted the decision to send it running on diesel, but refused to detail them. “We didn’t have time to complete the launch [of the reactors]… This first part will be with backup generators,” Ruksha said, as cited by Moscow Times.

“The universal nuclear icebreaker of Project 22220 is equipped with the most advanced electric propulsion systems,” Rosatomflot Director Mustafa Kashka said on the topic, as cited by the same media outlet.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Elena Gorgan
Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories