72.5 - 79 degrees N
The History of 50 Years of Victory
This vessel is one of six Arctic class icebreakers operated by the Russian Atomic Fleet of Murmansk. It is 159m long and 30m wide.
It has a 48cm thick cast steel prow which an “ice tooth” of 20m. Ice breaking is assisted by an air bubbling system, specialized hull design, friction reducing allot belt, and capability of rapid movement of ballast water. It can either go forward or astern, breaking ice up to 5m thick while navigating. Its maximum speed is 22 knots per hour and 3 knots per hour while continually breaking ice.
The power is supplied by 2 pressurized water KLT-40 nuclear reactors, each containing 245 enriched uranium fuel rods. Both are contained in a closed reinforced compartment under reduced pressure.
Each reactor is shielded by steel, high density concrete and water. Each set on boilers drives 2 steam turbines, which provide the power for the ship.
This expedition has several specialists who provide us information on our journey to the North Pole. Sir Bob Headland, a historian from Cambridge University, presented a lecture on the “Unveiling of the Arctic”. He provided an overview of the explorations throughout history which have lead to the formation of the Arctic Map.
Fabrice Genevois, a french Biologist, discussed the Ecology of Seabirds. Arctic Seabirds (Arctic Terns, Glaucous Gulls, Ivory Gulls, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, and Northern Fulmars) are circumpolar and travel great distances through the arctic. They nest on inaccessible rocks throughout the Arctic.
We are still in open water forging towards the Ice, getting to know each other and talking with the expedition team.