On the 25th of May Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker from the dockyard in St Petersburg. Preparing its infrastructure and its ports to be ready for more traffic through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which is believed to be navigable year-round in near future. According to the newsprovider the Guardian it is a “part of an ambitious programme to renew and expand its (Russia) fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential.“
The vessel, called the Ural, is one of a trio that is believed to be when completed the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world. In 2022, after the other two icebreakers Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia) enter service the Ural is due to be handed over to Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom. The Ural is designed to be able to slice though ice up to three metres thick and will be crewed by 75 people.
The chief of Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, was quoted saying.“The Ural together with its sisters are central to our strategic project of opening the NSR to all-year activity,”.
President Vladimir Putin said that by 2035 “Russia´s Arctic fleet would operate at least 13 heavy-duty icebreakers, nine of which would be powered by nuclear reactors.“
As according to Scientists estimations the Arctic holds about 22% of the world´s undiscovered oil and gas reserves.
Source: The Guardian