Accession Number:

ADA285943

Title:

Northern Sea Route and Icebreaking Technology

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH

Report Date:

1994-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

175.0

Abstract:

The Northern Sea Route NSR follows the Eurasian coastline between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The USSR developed a marine transportation infrastructure along their northern coastline that includes a fleet of the worlds most powerful icebreakers and ice-strengthened cargo ships, port facilities, and navigation, communication, and environmental forecasting aids. In 1987, the USSR announced it would open the NSR to foreign vessels for peaceful and commercial purposes. Navigational difficulties are considerable, due to bitter weather conditions, the short daylight season, iceinfested waters, and isolation. However, shorter distances between north Pacific and European ports, an existing cargo base, a currently underutilized transportation infrastructure, potential stimulation and strengthening of the Russian economy, and the prospect for economic benefits from international investment in Russia make the NSR attractive. The challenging physical environment requires advances in ship design and ship operations. Modern polar ships are larger, stronger, and more powerful, their propulsion systems have been improved, and the resistance encountered during icebreaking has been reduced. The existing shallow-draft northern fleet may be undesirable for use where larger ships can move cargo more efficiently. More northerly route options would enable larger and perhaps more efficient ship passage but would also require greater icebreaking capabilities however, it win be difficult to attract greater foreign interest unless the navigation season can be extended.

Subject Categories:

  • Snow, Ice and Permafrost
  • Marine Engineering

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE