Russia’s state atomic energy corporation Rosatom launched a new advanced nuclear-powered icebreaker ‘Ural’ on Saturday at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg.
For Rosatom it is considered as another step towards ensuring all-year round navigability of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in tapping the commercial potential of Arctic region. Ural is the first of the Trio and the others ‘Arktik’ and the ‘Sibir’ to be launched in near future.The 173 metre-long ‘Ural’ is equipped with two highly efficient and compact RITM-200 nuclear reactors on board, capable of generating up to 350MW combined, allowing the ship to break through ice as thick as three meters. The cutting edge RITM-200 type reactor makes its debut on the ‘Ural’ as well as on its sister vessels from the 22220 project- the ‘Arktik’ and the ‘Sibir’, before Rosatom deploys it in floating nuclear power plants.
Another unique feature of the project 22220 vessels including the ‘Ural’ is its dual-draught design. Ballast tanks inside its hull can be adjusted easily to alter the ship’s draught depending on whether the vessel needs to navigate the Arctic sea or shallow river estuaries.