ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA — Russia has unveiled a new nuclear-powered icebreaker that is designed to keep the Northern Sea Route open all year round.
Russia’s new nuclear-powered icebreaker, known as Leader, will exceed 200 meters in length and will be about 50 meters wide. It would be capable of plowing through 2-meter-thick ice at a speed of 29 kph and capable of cutting through ice up to 4.5 meters thick.
It is expected that the new icebreaker would lead tankers carrying liquefied natural gas weighing up to 300,000 tonnes to pass through the Northern Sea Route in any season.
Russia launched the world’s biggest icebreaker, the Arktika, in June. The icebreaker is powered by two nuclear reactors and can break through 4-meter-deep ice.