‘Nuclear icebreaker’ ship being built by China weighs 33,000-tons, is 500-feet long and can break through ice sheets – but is it a prototype for a military vessel

An experimental 33,000-ton nuclear-powered ship that could cut through thick ocean ice sheets is being built by China.

The state-owned vessel, dubbed a ‘nuclear icebreaker’,  is designed to cut through the frozen seas north of Russia and North America.

The vessel will be fitted with two 25-megawatt water reactors, allowing the enormous vessel to travel at a max speed of 11.5 knots, or just over 13 miles per hour.

The country does not yet have a nuclear-propelled surface ship but does have a fleet of nuclear fuelled submarines.

Although they have not specified what the ship is for, but experts speculate it could be a testing ground for future attempts to create a fleet of nuclear powered vessels.

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) has invited bids for the contract to build a vessel 498 feet (152 metres) long, 30 metres wide and 18 metres in depth.

These specifications make it fifteen feet (two metres) longer and a around seven thousand tons heavier than Russia’s Arktika-class icebreaker.

The state, however, has not specified how it plans to use the ship once it’s built but suggested that it will be an ‘experimental platform’.

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