Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

A photographer I like, Slava, has visited a breeding ground for the one and only atomic icebreaking fleet in Murmansk. He says that in the whole world, only the USSR and now Russia operate atomic icebreaking ships, which make them one of a kind and unique and now thanks to Slava, we have a rare chance to take a peek inside their headquarters in Murmansk – a city in the Russian North.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

He says that there are six operational atomic icebreakers in Russia at the moment. Those are the ships with a nuclear power source. They have been designed specially to work in the coldest climes of the Arctic.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

In total, they have built eight nuclear ships in the Soviet Union, and then they built two in modern Russia. He says there are three more that are being constructed right now. The first new one should be ready in 2017. The new ones can break ice up to three meters thick!

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

If you have forgotten – the pics are clickable for bigger sizes ūüôā In total there are over 1,100 people working on them. The company that runs them all is called “Atom Fleet” or Atomflot in Russian.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

The ships have double layered hulls to be able to break ice and avoid accidents. However, what’s interesting is that their nuclear power source is perfect for¬†operating in cold conditions and is not suitable for warmer climes, so they can’t, for example, cross the equator and go to Antarctica.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

This particular ship is called Sovietski Soyuz or Soviet Union. It has one interesting particularity – it can be turned in to a battleship, it is designed this way! It was originally used as a trans Arctic tourist cruise ship! To visit the North Pole, etc.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

The inside of the ship – the main turbo generators. The ship uses nuclear power to heat water and uses the steam to propel the turbines.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Main control center. Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

There are two main control centers on this ship. One is to control the operation of the ship itself and the other is to control the nuclear power source. Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Over thirty years there have been zero problems with the nuclear engines.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

A main eating room for the officers. The eating room for the sailors is down one floor. They get meals four times a day.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

This ship (Sovetski Soyuz) was finished in 1989 in Leningrad. In 2008 it was upgraded.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

And this nuclear icebreaking ship is called “Arctica”. It was built in 1975. It was the biggest at the time. It could carry helicopters and break ice as thick as 5 meters (over 15 feet!).

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

This ship is famous to be the first ship to reach the North Pole.  Sadly now it is out of service and awaits to be utilized.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

The “Vaigach” ship – this ship particular feature is that it is lower than the others, so it can enter the deltas of great Siberian rivers from the Northern Arctic Ocean.¬†Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

A captain’s bridge. As you can see they run the same Windows as others did.¬†Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

So this nuclear ship’s main purpose is convoying the ships carrying metals and lumber out of the interior¬†of Siberia, first through great Siberian rivers then into the Polar ocean. ¬†¬†Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Those turbines can produce 50,000 horsepower. So it breaks ice up to 2.50 meters.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Those are hydraulics used in the steering of the ship. Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

The movie theater inside of the ship.Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

The captain’s assistant office. ¬†Ships spend¬†an average of 2-3 months at a time on the open seas. The crew is 100 people.¬†Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Another ship called “Taimir”.Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

This one is interesting, in that it was built in Finland for a Soviet Union order. However, the nuclear power plant was of course Soviet and also the Soviet Union supplied special steel to be used during the shipbuilding.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Now it has been standing in the dock for a while. Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

This giant is equipped with a pneumatic system that allows it to raise the front or the back of the ship above the ice level and then hammer it down, crushing the ice. Also, it can move itself from side to side to help crush the ice, too. Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

It’s speed on average is 33.3 km/h

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

The propellers are being serviced.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Just look at the kind of screws they use. Each propeller blade uses nine such screws to be mounted.  Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Another ship. The “Lenin”. It was the first one! Finished back in 1957. It served for 31 years and in 1990 was docked here. Now it’s a museum.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

This is where the nuclear power plant was on the “Lenin”. Now is being checked for radiation.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Workplace of the captain.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Its main staircase.

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

And also here Slava took a few photos of Murmansk city – the biggest city which is located beyond the polar circle in the world.Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet

Big, big thanks go to Slava for these awesomest photos! ūüôā Thanks Slava!

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10 thoughts on “Awesome and Unique Russian Atomic Icebreaking Fleet”

    • Don’t change it if it ain’t broken‚Ķ

      On one of my app, I use a virtual machine with an even older OS (disconnected from the net)

  1. Very interesting as always Ty for letting us see how they work. I have a question about history of soviet radar from long time ago. I heard that when Russia was installing the first computer radar system to watch for US missiles and bombers,the head guy said all of a sudden the screens and alarms started to go off and he was under orders to attack if this is the case. He went on to say his gut told him it was a false alarm so he didn’t sound alarm. He said if he had followed orders he would of had to launch missiles but it was just a computer glitch,is this true?

    • Why call BS? She has 2 reactors, plenty to power any radars and combat equipment. She already has a helipad and hanger. There are 5 crane mountings that could be re-appropriated for weapons systems and plenty of space inside for supplies.

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