Russia to build nuclear icebraker for commissioning in 2027

Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, which operates the world’s only nuclear icebreaker fleet has signed a contract with shipbuilder Zvezda for the construction of a nuclear icebreaker – Leader – according to a statement.

The contract was remotely signed by Rosatom subsidiary Atomflot and Zvezda with the signatories located respectively Murmansk and Vladivostok, respectively, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has forced the world into lockdown. The document was signed by the Atomflot general director Mustafa Kashka and the Zvezda general director Sergey Tseluyko. Zvezda is the sole contractor for this Rosatom-commissioned project. As per the terms of the contract, the vessel is expected to be commissioned in 2027.

“Today (April 23), an important step has been taken in the history of Russia’s nuclear icebreaker fleet,” Kashka said in a statement, adding that “Leader will be equipped with two state-of-the-art RITM-400 nuclear reactors developed by Rosatom specialists, giving the vessel a total capacity of 120 MW, which will allow it to overcome ice more than 4 meters thick. The commissioning of this nuclear icebreaker will allow us to guarantee safe and regular operations in the eastern region of the Arctic Ocean, year-round navigation in the waters of the Northern Sea Route, and new possibilities for carving out high-latitude commercial routes.”

With a planned length of 209 metres and maximum speed of 22 knots, Leader will have the capacity to displace about 69,000 tonnes of mass, the statement said. The icebreaker’s steam turbine unit will be equipped with 4 turbo generators, each with a power capacity of 37 MW.