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Russia, eyeing Arctic future, launches nuclear-powered icebreaker

Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday, part of an ambitious program to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic's commercial potential.The ship, dubbed the Ural and which was floated out from a dockyard in St Petersburg, is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.Russia is building new infrastructure and overhauling its ports as, amid warmer climate cycles, it readies for more traffic via what it calls the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which it envisages being navigable yearround.The Ural is due to be handed over to Russia's state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in 2022, after the two other icebreakers in the same series, Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia), enter service."The Ural together with its sisters are central to our strategic project of opening the NSR to all-year activity," Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom's chief executive, was ...Read more

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