New Nuclear Icebreaker Commissioned in Murmansk

Photo: Rosatomflot

New Nuclear Icebreaker Commissioned in Murmansk

On 25 January 2022, the ceremony of commissioning Sibir, the second nuclear-powered icebreaker in the 22220 Project family, took place in Murmansk, the ship’s home port. In the coming days, the icebreaker will be deployed in the Western Sector of the Northern Sea Route.

Commissioning this ship is of major importance both for the Russian shipbuilding industry and the development of the Northern Sea Route. It is a proof of the industry’s ability to build highly sophisticated state-of-the-art ships and successfully meet the challenge of being ahead of the game in the Arctic.

New powerful icebreakers are needed on the Northern Sea Route to help it reach the target freight amount of 80 million tons per year by 2024, as well as to make the NSR navigable all year round. The new family of ships comprising such icebreakers as Arktika, Sibir, Chukotka, Yakutia, Ural and others will also play an important role in launching new shipping lines, both domestic and international, in the Russian Arctic.

At present, the 22220 Project icebreakers are the most powerful in the world. Owing to their 60-megawatt nuclear reactor units, they can operate in up to 3-meter-thick ice. The experience gained during their use is crucial in terms of designing and building gigantic Leader-class icebreakers with a planned propulsion power of 120 megawatts to be constructed at the Zvezda Shipyard in the Russian Far East.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
26 January 2022
Arctic Today