Coast Guard reactivates Seattle-based icebreaker

SEATTLE — The U.S. Coast Guard has reactivated the icebreaker Polar Star after a four-year $57 million overhaul.

The Seattle Times reported that the 34-year-old ship, one of the nation’s two heavy-duty icebreakers, will undergo tests next year before again plying the frozen Arctic regions.

The Polar Star was overhauled at Vigor Industrial shipyard in Seattle. A ceremony was held Friday for the renovated icebreaker. The Polar Star can bust through a two-story wall of ice by backing up and ramming, but the ship is past its original life span. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and others have argued for beefing up the nation’s ice-breaking capabilities as climate change opens up more previously frozen regions to scientific and commercial exploration.

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