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Russia wants help to clean up sunken nuclear submarines – while it invests in new ones!

Norway celebrates 25-years paying for nuclear-dump cleanup. Russia showcases new reactor weapons
Rosatom officials and Norwegian project partners are Wednesday marking that it is 25 years since the first money check was sent from Oslo to help improve infrastructure at the ill-fated Andreeva Bay dump site for spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste accumulated from the operation of Cold War submarines.  The Barents Observer ,By Thomas Nilsen September 29, 2021

”………………….. Sunken reactors  

Andrey Zolotkov with ANO Bellona Murmansk says there are problems in the sphere of nuclear safety that Russia can’t deal with alone.

“This is to raise the sunken nuclear submarines,” he says.

On the seafloor of the Barents Sea, the old November class K-159 that sank in August 2003 has two reactors with spent nuclear fuel on board. The submarine lays in an area of high importance for the fisheries of both Russia, Norway and the European Union. Further east, in the Kara Sea, the submarine K-27 was dumped on purpose, along with several other submarine reactors and thousands of containers with radioactive waste.

Zolotkov fears the submarines may corrode to the worse if nothing is done. 

If we constantly postpone this for later, then something may happen. The lifting operation will sooner or later become impossible because supporting structures will be destroyed as a result of corrosion.”

A key question is how eager potential donor nations would be to cash out even more money to assist in reducing the environmental risks caused by the past nuclear legacy, like the dumped reactors in the Kara Sea, as long as Russia itself gives priority to creating nuclear weapons systems beyond what the world ever has seen before. 

Rearmament of the north 

Russia’s rearmament of the north includes a new generation of both multi-purpose submarines and ballistic missile submarines. Currently, some 12-13 reactor-powered subs are under construction at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk. The new vessels will sail for both the Northern Fleet and the Pacific Fleet. Little is known about 4th generation Russian navy reactors and uranium fuel enrichment.

Maybe more frightening than the new submarines are two other reactor-powered weapons systems currently under testing and development in northern Russia: the Poseidon underwater drone and the Burevestnik cruise missile. Both are said to carry nukes and have a nearly unlimited range.

New satellite images 

In late August, Google Earth updated its satellite images from above the naval yards in Severodvinsk…………………

Nenoksa accident  

In August 2019, five employees from Rosatom were killed when a nuclear object was about to be raised from the seabed outside Nenoksa in the White Sea, only a few kilometers west of Severodvinsk. What exactly happened remains secret, but radiation monitors in Severodvinsk saw a spike, and locals took photos of ambulances where both the interior and the drivers were wearing protective dressed against radiation.

As reported by the Barents Observer, the explosion was most likely involving the reactor from a Burevestnik test. This autumn, Russia’s top-secret testing of the Burevestnik nuclear-powered missile is moved to Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic, an archipelago under full military control and formerly used for real nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere and underground.

This week, a large area both on land at Novaya Zemlya and in the waters along the west coast on the Barents Sea side is closed off with NOTAM-warnings (Notice to Airmen). The size of the closed-off areas fits with a likely test launch of the nuclear-powered missile………

October 1, 2021 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, wastes, weapons and war

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