Delivery of Russia’s newest nuclear icebreaker Arktika has been delayed by troubles with its starboard 300-ton electric propulsion motor experienced during sea trials. This may require the motor’s replacement, a task that could delay delivery until late next year. The 33,500 ton displacement Arktika is the lead unit of Russia’s LK60Ya nuclear icebreaker program which includes sister vessels Ural and Sibir.
The three vessels are all powered by twin RITM-200 reactors with a combined output of 175 megawatts and are being built by the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg at a cost of $550 million each.
Because of the delays, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has extended the operational lifetimes of three of its older icebreakers. Following refits the 1987-built Taymyr will now run until 2025 while the similar-vintage Vaigach will operate until 2027. The newer Yamal, launched in 1989, will run through 2028 in company with the 50 let Pobedy, a ship laid down in 1989 but not commissioned until 2007 because of construction delays.