Atomflot orders new nuclear icebreaker

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The contract was signed remotely by FSUE Atomflot general director Mustafa Kashka, in Murmansk

Russian state-owned nuclear energy corporation reports that its subsidiary FSUE Atomflot, the world’s only operator of nuclear powered icebreakers, has signed a contract with shipbuilder Zvezda LLC for construction of a new nuclear icebreaker, the Leader.

The contract was signed remotely by FSUE Atomflot general director Mustafa Kashka, in Murmansk, and Zvezda LLC general director Sergey Tseluyko, in Vladivostok.

The vessel is expected to be commissioned in 2027.

“Today, an important step has been taken in the history of [Russia’s] nuclear icebreaker fleet,” commented Mustafa Kashka. “Leader will be equipped with two state-of-the-art RITM-400 nuclear reactors developed by Rosatom specialists, giving the vessel a total capacity of 120 MW, which will allow it to overcome ice more than 4 meters thick. The commissioning of this nuclear icebreaker will allow us to guarantee safe and regular operations in the eastern region of the Arctic Ocean, year-round navigation in the waters of the Northern Sea Route, and new possibilities for carving out high-latitude commercial routes.”

According to Rosatom, the icebreaker will have the following main characteristics:

  • Power capacity: 120 MW (on propeller shafts);
  • Maximum speed: 22 knots (in clear water);
  • Length: 209 meters;
  • Width: 47.7 meters;
  • Maximum ice penetration: 4 meters;
  • Displacement: about 69,700 tonnes.
Main power equipment
  • A nuclear power system equipped with two RITM-400 reactors;
  • A steam turbine unit equipped with four turbo-generators, each with a power capacity of 37 MW;
  • An electric propulsion system equipped with four propeller motors, each with a power capacity of 30 MW.
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