Russia’s Atomflot (part of Rosatom) said on 6 August that experts from the Moscow Centre of the World Association of Nuclear Power Plant Operators (WANO-MC) had completed pre-launch inspections of the Siberia and Arktika universal nuclear icebreakers. Over two weeks, WANO specialists monitored the work processes, and also interviewed crew members of Atomflot’s nuclear powered ships and employees of Baltic Shipyard where the vessels are being built.
“WANO experts were able to fully study the procedure and criteria for commissioning nuclear icebreakers, familiarise themselves with the work processes on board the vessel and discuss personnel training and qualifications,” said Atomflot CEO Mustafa Kashka. At the final meeting, WANO-MC experts presented a preliminary report of pre-launch checks, in which they identified areas for improvement, and made recommendations to improve the level of safety during the operation and construction of the Project 22220 icebreakers.
A series of project 22220 universal nuclear icebreakers is being built at the Baltic Shipyard by order of Atomflot. The lead icebreaker Arktika was commissioned in October 2020 and four more nuclear-powered ships are at different stages of construction: Siberia, Ural, Yakutia and Chukotka.
The icebreakers are equipped with a two-reactor power plant with the main source of steam from 175 MW RITM-200 new generation reactors, specially designed for this vessel. The technical design of the nuclear-powered ship was developed by the Iceberg Central Design Bureau in 2009. The ship's double-draft design will allow it to be used both in Arctic waters and in the estuaries of polar rivers. The icebreaker will operate in the western region of the Arctic: in the Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas, as well as in the shallower areas of the Yenisei estuary and the Ob Bay area.