Nuclear icebreaker Ural laid down in St. Petersburg
© RIA Novosti. Sergey Mamontov

Nuclear icebreaker Ural laid down in St. Petersburg

A new Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker Ural, the second ship of the Arktika class, has been laid down at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, RIA Novosti reports. The lead ship Arktika was launched on June 16, 2016.

"The icebreaker Ural was laid down two months early. We think it's important that the plant continue this impressive pace. We are fully financing the Baltic Shipyard; the necessary advanced funding was made in late June," Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko said at the keel-laying ceremony.

The Arktika is scheduled for completion in late 2017, and the Sibir and Ural are to enter service in 2019 and late 2020, respectively, Kiriyenko noted. "The icebreakers of this series are crucial for maintaining national defense capability, for ensuring competitive Northern Sea Route transport, and for developing the unique resources on the northern Russian shelf," Kiriyenko noted.

Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers can escort Arctic ship convoys while plowing through three-meter thick ice. For example, they will escort ships delivering oil and gas from the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas and the Kara Sea shelf to Asia Pacific markets.

Each Project 22220 icebreaker is 173.3 meters long with a beam of 34 meters, and a displacement of 33,500 metric tons. Each ship has a crew of 75.

The Baltic Shipyard will build three nuclear icebreakers, the Arktika, the Sibir and the Ural. They will be the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakers in the world with power rated at 60 megawatts each. The ships are to feature a two-reactor propulsion unit, with a 175-megawatt RITM-200 reactor unit acting as the main steam source.