Russia debuts the largest ever nuclear icebreaker

Arktika can plow through ice nearly 10 feet thick.

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Russia debuts the largest ever nuclear icebreaker

Russian cargo ships understandably have to wade through a lot of ice, and the country plans to deal with that frozen water in style. It recently floated out the Arktika, which it bills as the "largest and most powerful" nuclear-powered icebreaker in the world. At nearly 569 feet long and 112 feet wide, the twin-reactor boat can carve a gigantic path through some of the sea's toughest obstacles -- it can cut through ice roughly 10 feet thick. It can haul about 36,000 short tons, and there's a helicopter to scout for any upcoming floes.

Arktika won't go into service until near the end of 2017, when it'll escort oil and gas ships through northern waters to their destinations in Asia-Pacific. However, there's already a lot of pressure on it to succeed. The project behind the ship is estimated to cost the equivalent of $1.9 billion, so the vessel will have to work hard to justify its investment.

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