Decommissioning and building
Transportation of hydrocarbons along the Northern Sea Route requires extensive icebreaking support. Though Russia is the world’s only country to operate the fleet of nuclear icebreakers and the country’s fleet of icebreakers is the largest worldwide, it is not sufficient for the development of Arctic. The majority of icebreakers are worn-out and obsolete and hardly anything will remain of this fleet if new vessels are not built. FSUE Atomflot currently operates five nuclear icebreakers in the Arctic. The operational life has been extended from 100, 000 to 175, 000 reactor-h for many of them. All nuclear icebreakers, except for the largest one, 50 Let Pobedy, are to be decommissioned in 2018-22.
At the same time, Sergey Kirienko says a principal decision has been made on the development of the conceptual design for the new Leader Icebreaker. According to Dmitry Rogozin, the vessel’s capacity of 110-130 MW will let break through multi-year ice with thickness of over 4 meters and move pretty easily in the Arctic. Such an icebreaker will be able to escort tankers with deadweight exceeding 200, 000 t. The conceptual design is to be developed by the end of 2015 at Krylov State Research Center. According to Rosatom CEO, federal financing of the project has been launched via the Ministry of Industry and Trade.