Maritime Executive is reporting China will build a nuclear powered Polar Icebreaker.
“The vessel will feature higher ice capabilities, better research capabilities and be more comfortable and environmentally friendly than Xue Long. It is expected to be 122.5 meters (400 feet) long and will be able to break ice of up to 1.5 meters (five feet) thick at a speed of around two knots. It will be able to operate bow or stern first using two ABB Azipod units with combined power of 15MW.”
This is what the Coast Guard would call at best a medium icebreaker. 15MW or about 20,000 HP is far less than even the Healy’s 22.4 MW, but while we don’t expect a new icebreaker for a decade, they expect theirs will be finished in two years.