New Rosatom engine for the Arktika, the world’s most powerful nuclear icebreaker
© RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov

New Rosatom engine for the Arktika, the world’s most powerful nuclear icebreaker

The new RITM-200 nuclear reactor for the Arktika icebreaker, which is being built at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, has been completed, RIA Novosti reports citing the press service of Atomenergomash (AEM), the manufacturer of the RITM-200 and the machine-building division of the Rosatom state nuclear energy corporation.

"On June 26, ZiO-Podolsk, an AEM subsidiary, dispatched a second reactor for the icebreaker's engine to the Baltic Shipyard," the AEM press service said. The first reactor was shipped on May 26.

The dual-draught (adjustable draught) nuclear icebreaker Arktika is the first of at least three Project 22220 ships. Designed to be the world's largest and most powerful icebreaker, it will be 173 meters long and 34 meters wide, with a minimum operating draught of 8.5 meters and a displacement of 33,500 tons. The icebreaker will be able to clear the way for convoys in ice up to 3 meters thick.

The RITM-200 nuclear reactor was designed at AEM's subsidiary, the Afrikantov Experimental Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering in Nizhny Novgorod. The RITM-200 is a compact and energy efficient engine comprised of two reactors with a thermal power rating of 175 MW each. It is half the weight of other icebreaker reactors, and is 33 percent smaller and 25 MW more powerful. This allows the Arktika to use a dual-draught design that is faster and more ice-resistant than any other modern icebreaker.

"The RITM-200 is a new-generation nuclear reactor, which required unique engineering and close teamwork," said AEM CEO Andrei Nikipelov.

"The Afrikantov team invented several new technologies and instruments for this project that have never been used in Russia or anywhere else before, such as new technology for precision deep-hole drilling and new types of cutting tools. The delivery of the RITM-200 reactor is a milestone event both for the company and for the Russian nuclear sector, and mechanical engineering as a whole," Nikipelov said.

Several Atomenergomash subsidiaries took part in this project, including the Afrikantov design bureau (design and delivery of sets of equipment), ZiO-Podolsk (nuclear power unit manufacturer), Energomashspetsstal (special steel and forged products) and the Central Research Institute of Machine Building Technology (TSNIITMASH).