Nuclear Street News Team comprises of industry writers and journalist.
Construction of the world's largest civilian ice breaker propelled by nuclear reactors is underway in Russia.Rosatom subsidiary Rosatomflot announced last week it has begun building the 569-foot-long ship at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg. In its announcement, the company claimed the ship will not only be the largest and most powerful ice-breaking vessel in the world, but will also allow shipping traffic in arctic routes year-round. The Barents Observer reported that tenders for two additional ships of the same design have been announced.The $1.47 billion craft will rely on two RITM-200 pressurized water reactors. Producing 55 MWe each, they are similar to reactors Russia is considering for floating nuclear power plants, according to the World Nuclear Association. They run on a seven-year fueling cycle over a 40-year design life. State-owned Rosatom, which controls the country's nuclear power enterprise, acquired Atomflot from the Russian transport ministry in 2008. Atomflot has operated nuclear-powered ice breakers in the arctic since 1959 and last commissioned a nuclear ship in 2007.