Commissioning of Russia’s 120MW Nuclear Icebreaker Postponed

Russia is pushing back the commissioning of its planned 120 megawatt (MW) icebreakers, according to media reports.

First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov said the lead nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 10510 Leader series, Rossiya, is scheduled to be comissioned in 2030, three years later than originally planned, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported.

Construction has been underway at the Zvezda shipbuilding complex in the Russian Far East since 2020, but the project has fallen behind schedule, in part, due increased production time for components of the icebreaker’s nuclear power plant and the cost of construction, according to the Kommersant report.

The Project 10510 Leader class icebreakers would supersede Project 22220 icebreakers as the world’s largest and most powerful icebreakers ever built.

The 209-meter-long vessels are to be powered by two RITM-400 nuclear reactors with a thermal output of 315MW each. Four electrically driven shafts with a combined capacity of 120MW will allow each vessel to reach speeds of 22 knots and break ice up to 4 meters thick, helping to enable regular year-round navigation on the Northern Sea Route.

Initial plans called for two additional sister ships to be built by 2033, but early last year it was reported that only one Project 10510 vessel would be constructed before 2035 as result of an update to Russia’s arctic strategy.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to build a series of 60MW nuclear icebreakers at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, with the next vessel, Yakutia, slated for delivery at the end of this year, and three more to join the fleet between 2026 and 2030.

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