75 000 h.p. The Biggest Nuclear Icebreaker in the World


MOSCOW (Reuters) – As part of Moscow’s efforts to explore the commercial potential of the Arctic, the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker set out on a two-week voyage there on Tuesday. The nuclear icebreaker, known as “Arktika,” sailed from St. Petersburg for the Arctic port of Murᴍᴀɴsk, marking its inauguration into Rᴜssɪᴀ’S fleet of icebreakers. The ship has been dubbed the largest and most potent icebreaker in the world by Rᴜssɪᴀn state company Rosatomflot. It has a crew of 53 people and is over 173 meters long. It can break ice that is almost three meters thick.

Moscow’s efforts to develop the Northern Sea Route, which connects Murᴍᴀɴsk to the Bering Strait in ᴄʟᴏsᴇ proximity to Alaska, depend on the ship, according to ᴍᴀɴy observers. Rᴜssɪᴀ hopes the route will eventually resemble a smaller version of the Suez Canal, speeding up shipping from Asia to Europe during warmer climate cycles.

The icebreaker was put through its paces during sea trials in the choppy waters of the Gulf of Fɪɴʟᴀɴᴅ before setting sail for the Arctic, negotiating its way through strong winds and enormous waves. The vessel bears the same name as an icebreaker from the Soviet era that made history in 1977 by becoming the first surface ship to reach the North Pole. In an effort to boost freight traffic in Arctic waters, Rᴜssɪᴀ has increased the production of icebreakers. Last year, President Vladimir Putin declared that the nation’s Arctic fleet would be comprised of at least 13 powerful icebreakers, the majority of which would be nuclear-powered.

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