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Russia's First Series Arctic Icebreaker to Be Laid Down in St. Petersburg

Russia's first series nuclear-powered icebreaker will be laid down in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, the Baltic Shipyard announced.

The shipyard, part of United Shipbuilding Corporation, signed a $1.68 billion contract on two Project 22220 icebreakers' construction with the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom in May 2014. The icebreakers are due to be put in commission in December 2019 and December 2020, respectively.

"An official ceremony of laying the first batch of the nuclear icebreaker Project 22220 will take place on May 26 at the Baltic Shipyard's 'A' slipway," a statement on the company's website read.

The Baltic Shipyard is currently constructing the project's pilot nuclear icebreaker, laid down on November 5, 2013. The icebreaker dubbed "Arktika" is due to become the world's largest and most potent vessel of this kind.

As per the contract terms, construction of the "Arktika" is due to be completed by December 2017.

The "Iceberg" Central Design Bureau drew the nuclear icebreakers' engineering designs in 2009. Their double-draft design allows usage in Arctic waters as well as estuaries of Polar rivers. The icebreakers are expected to work in the western region of the Arctic, namely the Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas, as well as more shallow waters of the Yenisei and Ob Rivers.

The Project 22220's length is 189.5 yards, its width 37.1 yards and displacement is 33,540 tons. The icebreakers will be fitted with two specifically designed new type nuclear power reactors RITM-200.

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