Sovietsky Soyuz broke free

Publish date: December 10, 1998

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

The nuclear powered icebreaker Sovietsky Soyuz is eventually free from the thick ice outside Pevek, after being stuck for three days.

Sovietsky Soyuz broke through the thick ice on Wednesday, after having been stuck since Monday this week. The icebreaker made its way free from the extraordinary thick ice without any assistance, according to Reuters.

The icebreaker has already moved 34 kilometres to the west, since it got free yesterday. The problem was the 15-20 meter thick ice 180 kilometres west of the Arctic port of Pevek in eastern Siberia.

Sovietsky Soyuz is one of the only three nuclear powered icebreakers still in operation this autumn. Murmansk Shipping Company has eight nuclear powered icebreakers, but the rest of them are laid up in Murmansk, due to the present economic problems. The shipping company’s regular customers cannot afford to pay the costs of using the nuclear powered icebreakers, and Murmansk Shipping Company officials say they cannot operate free of charge.

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