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Icebreaker Sibir begins sea trials

Russia’s newest nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Sibir, has left the Baltic Shipyard and headed into the Gulf of Finland for sea trials. Two more identical ships are under construction at the shipyard near Saint Petersburg.

Sibir is the first series-produced universal icebreaker of so-called Project 22220, after the first of that class, the Arktika, which entered operation a year ago. Like ArktikaSibir is powered by two RITM-200 reactors of 175 MWt each, which together deliver 60 MW at the propellers via twin turbine generators and three motors.

Over the next three weeks, the sea trials will check the vessel’s general performance, as well as its electrical and power systems. Communication and navigation systems will be tested, as will physical systems like its cranes and its helipad.

The Baltic Shipyard said it expects to hand Sibir over to its future operator Atomflot before the end of this year.

Two further Project 22220 icebreakers are under construction at the shipyard. The Ural is set for delivery in the second half of 2022, and the Chukotka at the end of 2024.

A variation of the RITM-200 reactor design used on Project 22220 icebreakers is planned for deployment on floating power plants at Cape Nagloynyn, although barges for this will be made by the Chinese shipbuilder Wison because Russian shipyards were too busy. Another variation of the RITM-200 for use on land is planned for Ust-Kuyga. While the nuclear-powered icebreakers will ensure year-round passage of the Northern Sea Route, the stationary nuclear units are dedicated to development of remote mineral resources and Arctic ports along the way.

Source: World Nuclear News