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“This will mean Russia will have a year-round presence in the North Pole… If we are able to create such a platform, it will be a breakthrough because other countries don’t have these platforms, everyone uses icebreakers…” Sergei Donskoi, the Russian natural resources minister said.
The platform construction is expected to take up to six years.
Construction expenses cost as much as a new ice-class vessel, but the outcome is expected to pay off.
As Donskoi pointed out, the platform is “a real solution to the problem” of finding a base for Russia’s research work in the Arctic.
Russia’s natural resources ministry has been urging to construct a year-round platform to avoid the problem that arises every year – the search of appropriate ice floe.
The minister also stressed that since other countries do not have such platforms, it will be a significant Russian break-through.
At the same time the platform will allow deployment of all the equipment for research.
The break-up of the ice floe poses a threat not only to the station itself and the scientists working there, but could also cause environmental pollution in the area near Canada where it is drifting, the ministry said.
Donskoi said he plans to discuss the platform’s construction with deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin.
Last week, Donskoi ordered the preparation of an evacuation plan for the country’s North Pole 40 (SP-40) drifting polar research station, due to the break-up of the ice floe on which it is located.
The station, which was opened last October, is expected to be evacuated in mid-June.