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Russian Nuke Icebreaker to Help Anchor Northwest Passage Fleet

Russian Nuke Icebreaker to Help Anchor Northwest Passage Fleet

The Sibir nuclear-powered icebreaker launches. (OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 25 September 2017 07:03 AM

A new Russian nuclear icebreaker will help anchor the country's Northwest Passage fleet that is expected to transport energy and other goods to Asian markets.

The new icebreaker Sibir (Siberia), which carries two nuclear reactors and has a propulsion power of 60 megawatts, had a launching ceremony last week ceremony at Saint Petersburg's Baltic Shipyard, CGTN.com reported.

The ship, which is 568 feet long, can crash through ice 10-feet thick and carry 53 people, AFP said.

"Nuclear energy ensures Russia's undisputed leadership in the far north," Vyacheslav Ruksha, head of the Atomflot state company that manages Russia's nuclear icebreakers, told AFP. "But only with nuclear icebreakers can our country fully unveil all possibilities and advantages of the Northern Passage to the world."

AFP said the Northern Passage is a naval route slowly becoming more accessible due to climate change. The Northwest Passage is 12 to 15 days shorter than traditional commercial routes through the Suez Canal, stated the news service.

According to Britannica, the Northwest Passage is located 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle and less than 1,200 miles from the North Pole. The route consist of a series of deep channels through Canada's Arctic Archipelago, extending about 900 miles from east to west, from north of Baffin Island to the Beaufort Sea.

The Northwest Passage also is filled with thousands of giant icebergs which could rise up to 300 feet in height, constantly drifting south between Greenland and Baffin Island, Britannica noted.

AFP said the Sibir is the second of three in the huge icebreakers class, the largest ever constructed. The first, called Arktika (the Arctic), was rolled out in 2016 and expected to be completed in 2019.

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A new Russian nuclear icebreaker will help anchor the country's Northwest Passage fleet that is expected to transport energy and other goods to Asian markets.
russian, nuke, icebreaker, northwest, passage
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2017-03-25
Monday, 25 September 2017 07:03 AM
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