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Russia Needs at Least 5 Nuclear-Powered Icebreakers for Arctic Exploration

© Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov / Go to the mediabankThe nuclear icebreaker Yamal during Arctic exploration in the Kara Sea
The nuclear icebreaker Yamal during Arctic exploration in the Kara Sea - Sputnik International
Russia would require at least five Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreakers for Arctic exploration, the deputy head for development of state company Atomflot, an icebreaker service and maintenance company, said Thursday.

ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Project 22220 refers to a new type of nuclear-powered icebreaker Russia is currently constructing. The new vessels will be able to escort convoys in the Arctic, breaking ice up to three meters (some 10 feet) thick. Currently there are three ships in the project.

"Life itself will push us for creation of new nuclear-powered icebreakers. We believe that there should not be less than five [ships] in the project," Stanislav Golovinsky told RIA Novosti.

420-foot (128m) Coast Guard cutter Healy the largest and most technically advanced icebreaker in the US - Sputnik International
US to Expand Icebreaker Fleet in Arctic in Attempt to Catch Up With Russia
A Project 22220 icebreaker is 189.5 yards long and 37.1 yards wide. The ship displaces 33,540 metric tons. The icebreakers are fitted with two specifically designed RITM-200 nuclear-power reactors.

The Arctic shelf is believed to hold huge amounts of oil and natural gas. Russia has been laying claims to deposits within its offshore border areas, as have the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark.

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