Russia prepares for next icebreaker series

24 April 2020

Rosatom subsidiary FSUE Atomflot and shipbuilder Zvezda LLC have signed a contract on the construction of the Leader nuclear icebreaker. Part of Project 10510 and the first LC-110 icebreaker to be built, Leader will be capable of breaking through ice more than 4.5 metres thick.

Mustafa Kashka, general director of Atomflot, signing the contract (Image: Rosatom)

Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex is the sole contractor for this Rosatom-commissioned project. As per the terms of the contract, the vessel is expected to be commissioned in 2027. The contract document was signed remotely yesterday by Mustafa Kashka, general director of Atomflot, which is based in Murmansk, and Sergey Tseluyko, general director of Zvezda, which is in Vladivostok.

Kashka said that 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 4m 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," he said.

Leader, will be built in accordance with technical specifications delineated by the central design bureau Iceberg and will be equipped with RITM-400 nuclear reactors developed by Rosatom subsidiary, JSC Afrikantov OKBM.

The main characteristics of Project 10510’s nuclear icebreaker design are: a power capacity of 120 MW (on the propeller shafts); a maximum speed of 22 knots (in clear water); a length of 209m and width of 47.7m; a maximum ice penetration of 4m; and displacement of about 69,700 tonnes.

As well as two RITM-400 reactors, its main power equipment consists of a steam turbine unit equipped with four turbo-generators, each with a power capacity of 37 MW; and an electric propulsion system equipped with four propeller motors, each with a power capacity of 30 MW.

Previous to Project 10510 are the third-generation 'universal' LK-60 icebreakers- Arktika, Sibir and Ural - built as dual-draught (8.55m or 10.5m) wide-beam (34m) ships of 25,450 dwt or 33,540 dwt with ballast, able to handle 3m of ice. They each have two RITM-200 reactors of 175 MWt each, delivering 60 MW at the propellers via twin turbine-generators and three motors.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News