Yamal on a 1994 joint expedition with the NSF
|Class & type:||Arktika-class icebreaker|
|Length:||150 m (490 ft); 136 m (446 ft) at waterline|
|Beam:||30 m (98 ft); 28 m (92 ft) at waterline|
|Height:||55 m (180 ft) keel to mast head|
|Draft:||11.08 m (36.4 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 x OK-900 171 MW nuclear reactors; 2 x steam turbines driving 6 generators, total 75,000 hp (55.3 MW)|
|Boats & landing
|Capacity:||Passengers: 100, in 50 cabins and mini-suites|
|Aircraft carried:||1 x Mil Mi-2 or Mil Mi-8 helicopter|
The NS Yamal (Russian: Яма́л) is a Russian Arktika class nuclear-powered icebreaker operated by Atomflot (formerly by the Murmansk Shipping Company). It is named after the Yamal Peninsula in Northwest Siberia; the name means End of the Land in Nenets.
Laid down in Leningrad in 1986, and launched in October 1992, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, it never filled its designed role of keeping shipping lanes open. It has always carried passengers on arctic excursions. In July of 1994 Yamal took an excursion to the North Pole, with the NSF (National Science Foundation), to celebrate the Official Maiden Voyage. While at the exact north pole (verified by GPS & Inmarsat satellite coordinates) the crew and passengers celebrated with a barbeque - the ambient temperature was -10 degrees F (wind gusts were measured at -40 degrees F). Because of the ship 90/90 coordinates the ship captain (Smirnov) organized a swimming party with Mr. Will Rountree (USA) being recorded as the 1st person to ever swim there (21 Jul 94) - water temperature was below freezing, ranging from 28 degrees to 31 degrees F. The Yamal is the 12th surface ship ever to reach the north pole.
The Yamal is equipped with a double hull. The outer hull is 48 mm thick where ice is met and 25 mm elsewhere and has a polymer coating to reduce friction. There is water ballast between the inner and outer hulls which can be shifted in order to aid icebreaking. Icebreaking is also assisted by an air bubbling system which can deliver 24 m³/s of air from jets 9 m below the surface. The Yamal can break ice while making way either forwards or backwards.
Yamal is one of the Russian "Arktika" family of icebreakers, the most powerful icebreakers in the world. These ships must cruise in cold water to cool their reactors, so they cannot pass through the tropics to undertake voyages in the Southern hemisphere.
Yamal carries one helicopter and several Zodiac boats. Radio and satellite communications systems are installed which can provide navigation, telephone, fax, and email services. Amenities include a large dining room (capable of holding all 100 passengers in one sitting), a library, passenger lounge, auditorium, volleyball court, gymnasium, heated indoor swimming pool, a sauna, and an infirmary. She is equipped with 50 passenger cabins and suites, all with toilets, exterior windows, a television, and a desk.
Yamal also played a significant role in creation of annual travel expeditions to the North Pole, being one of the few vessels capable of getting there and bringing tourists with it in safety. Since 1993 the icebreaker was operated by Murmansk Shipping Company and in 2001-2008 the operation was made by Murmansk Shipping Company and Poseidon Expeditions. Yamal has made a total of 47 voyages to the North Pole.
Incidents and accidents
- On 23 December 1996, a crew member was killed when a fire broke out on board the icebreaker. The nuclear reactor powering the ship was not affected by the fire. The crew extinguished the blaze within 30 minutes.
- On March 16th, 2009 Yamal collided with the product tanker MT Indiga in Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea. While the tanker suffered a 9.5-metre (31 ft) crack on the main deck, no damage was reported for Yamal.
- North Pole-36 and North Pole-37
- From August to September 2009 the ice breaker took part in the scheduled evacuation of drifting ice stations. Each station houses 18 polar explorers, dogs, and more than 150 tons of cargo. The evacuation of station personnel and cargo from a drifting ice floe requires three days of continuous, round-the-clock work. This high-latitude Arctic work was supervised by expedition leader Vladimir Sokolov.
- Ward, Paul (November 7, 2009). "Yamal, a nuclear powered icebreaker". Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "Infographic in Russian describing the amount of voyages to the North Pole among Russian icebreakers
- Ice-breaker collides with tanker in Arctic Ocean, PortWorld News, 2009-03-30.
- Nuclear powered icebreaker collided with oil tanker, BarentsObserver, 2009-03-24.
- Атомоход "Ямал" вышел в Арктику за питерскими полярниками [The atomic-powered vessel "Yamal" left to Arctic regions for Petersburg polar explorers]. community (in Russian) (fontanka.ru). 2009-08-22. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
Media related to IMO 9077549 at Wikimedia Commons
- on YouTube
- Field reports from tourists made aboard Yamal
- Icehunters: Russian conquerors of the North Pole