Russia launches world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker ‘Ural’

Russia has recently launched the third and final Project 22220 LK-60Ya-class nuclear-powered icebreaker – the Ural – at the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg to open up Arctic shipping routes.The ship is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world. It is part of an ambitious programme to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential. The Ural will eventually be handed over to Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in 2022 after the two other icebreakers in the same series – Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia) – enter service. The main task for the Project 22220 icebreakers will be to clear passages for ship traffic on the Northern Sea route, which runs along the Russian Arctic coast from the Kara Sea to the Bering Strait. As per estimated of U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic holds oil and gas reserves equivalent to 412 billion barrels of oil, about 22% of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas.

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