12 Dec 2019 21:28

Lead nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 22220 begins trials in Baltic Sea

ST. PETERSBURG. Dec 12 (Interfax) - The lead universal nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 22220, the Arktika, which is under construction at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, began sea trials on Thursday, the state corporation Rosatom, which ordered construction of the ship, said in a statement.

The icebreaker departed from the shipyard pier for the Gulf of Finland. The sea trials will check the ballasting system, the navigation equipment, the life-support system, and the anchor, as well as operation of the boat lowering system.

The icebreaker will return to the pier on December 14. The final stage of sea trials will take place in March-April 2020.

"The primary objective of the sea trials is to check the correctness of algorithms of the electrical propulsion system and icebreaker maneuvering powered by reserve diesel generators," the statement quoted Atomflot General Director Mustafa Kashka as saying.

The Baltic Shipyard is building three nuclear-powered icebreakers of the project. The contract for building the Arktika lead icebreaker was signed between Atomflot and LLC Baltiysky Zavod - Sudostroyeniye, whose successor the Baltic Shipyard is, in August 2012. The contract price is 37 billion rubles. The Baltic Shipyard and the state corporation Rosatom signed an 84.4-billion-ruble contract for building two more icebreakers, the Sibir and the Ural, in May 2014.

The lead icebreaker, the Arktika, was due to be commissioned in May-June 2019, and the commissioning of the Sibir and the Ural was planned for November 2020 and November 2021, respectively. It was reported later that the commissioning of the Arktika could be delayed first until December 2019 and then until May 2020. The dates for commissioning the Sibir and the Ural were delayed until 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Atomflot and the Baltic Shipyard signed a contract for building two more universal nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220 in August. Their commissioning is scheduled for December 2024 and December 2026, respectively. The icebreakers will cost more than 100 billion rubles.

Icebreakers of Project 22220 are designed to escort vessels in the Arctic, the Yenisei River, and the Ob Inlet, and to tow vessels and other floating structures through ice and clean water, in addition to accomplishing other tasks. The icebreakers have a length of 173.3 meters, a width of 34 meters, a power capacity of 60 MW, and ice trafficability of 2.8 meters.

The icebreakers are equipped with a two-reactor propulsion system based on the next-generation RITM-200 integrated pressurized water reactor specially designed for the project as the primary steam source. The dual-draft design of the icebreakers enables their use in the Arctic Ocean and estuaries of polar rivers.