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Russia to build new icebreakers

Russia to build new icebreakers 20.10.2008
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin requested the country’s state nuclear energy company Rosatom to elaborate a long-term plan for the nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet. New icebreakers are to strengthen the position of the country on the Northern Sea Route.

In few years, Russia plans to build another 3-4 nuclear-powered new-generation icebreakers.

In a meeting with Rosatom leader Sergey Kiriyenko yesterday, PM Putin highlighted the need for an evaluation of the situation in the nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet and the elaboration of a plan for the fleet’s development, the Russian government website reports.

- You know that we have to assess the state of the fleet and determine its development perspectives, Mr. Putin said, adding that “I have in mind, of course, our plans for the further development of the Northern Sea Route”.

Mr. Kiriyenko responded that his Rosatom now is elaborating a programme on the fleet’s development. He underlined the need for the building of new vessels. Rosatom on 27 August officially took over the responsibility for the icebreaker fleet from the Murmansk Shipping Company.

- If we do not build new vessels, then our opportunities in the Arctic will decline after 2015, he said, adding that a key task in the country’s development programme on transport and infrastructure is the projecting of a new generation of nuclear-powered icebreakers in 2009 and subsequent funding for the new vessels.

- According to preliminary estimates, we need no less than 3-4 new generation icebreakers in the course of the coming years, Mr. Kiriyenko highlighted.

Russia today has seven nuclear-powered icebreakers in operation, the newest of them the 50-years Anniversary was launched in 2007. A few days ago icebreaker Arktika was officially taken out or service.

Source: www.barentsobserver.com, photo: icebreaker Vaigach (msco.ru)

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