Russia lays down world’s largest nuclear icebreaker

The current sketch for the next generation of nuclear icebreakers, which has been named the LK60-class. (Illustration: Rosatomflot)

Construction of the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker has begun at the Baltic Shipyard in St.Petersburg.


The yet-unnamed vessel will be powered by two nuclear reactors, and it will be 173 meters long and 34 meters wide – 14 meters longer and 4 meters wider than the current largest icebreaker “50 let Pobedy”. 

The new icebreaker, which will be ready for operations in 2017, has a price tag of €1.1 billion and will make it possible to use the Northern Sea Route all year around, says General Director of Atomflot Vyacheslav Ruksha, who participated in the ceremony in St.Petersburg on Tuesday, to Atomflot’s web site.  

The LK60 icebreakers will have the overall power of 60 MW with variable draught from 8.5 m to 10.8 m.

A tender for two more icebreakers of the same type has been announced, and it is expected that these two also will be built at the Baltic Shipyard. Baltiysky Shipyard has built most of Rosatomflot’s icebreakers, among them the last icebreaker in the fleet, “50 Let Pobedy”. This vessel was commissioned in 2007.