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Russia’s perilous job in raising sunken nuclear submarines

In both cases, experts fear that a nuclear chain reaction could occur should water leak into the submarines’ reactor compartments.  Russian scientists have kept a close eye on the K-159, launching regular expeditions to monitor for potential radiation leaks. According to their data, should the submarine depressurize, radionuclides could spread over hundreds of kilometers, heavily impacting the local fishing industry.

Yet the subs represent just a fraction of the radiation hazards that the Soviet Navy dumped at sea. Between 1959 and 1992, the Soviets carried out 80 missions to sink radioactive debris in Arctic water. In total, some 18,000 objects considered to be radioactive waste were plunged to Arctic depths. Aside from the K-159 and the K-27, the Soviet Navy scuttled reactor compartments, solid radioactive waste, a number of irradiated vessels, as well as old metal structures and radioactive equipment.

Rosatom official puts deadline on raising old nuclear submarines

An official with Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, has announced a deadline for raising two Soviet-era nuclear submarines that have been lying for decades at the bottom of seas in the Arctic over fears their reactors could contaminate fertile international fishing grounds.  October 6, 2021 by Charles Digges

An official with Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, has announced a deadline for raising two Soviet-era nuclear submarines that have been lying for decades at the bottom of seas in the Arctic over fears their reactors could contaminate fertile international fishing grounds.

As indicated in the strategy for the development of the Arctic, 2030, not earlier,” Anatoly Grigoriev, head of Rosatom’s international technical assistance project, told Interfax late last month.

The announcement confirms what unnamed officials had earlier told Russian state media more than a year ago. Since then, Bellona has urged Russia, during its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council, to pursue retrieving the submarines to avoid the contamination risk their reactors, and the spent nuclear fuel they contain,  pose to the ocean environment.

Grigoriev’s remarks concerned the K-27 and K-159, both of which went down still loaded with their uranium fuel. Both submarines, say experts, are in a precarious state. But the submarines sank under different circumstances.

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October 7, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Terrorists trying to get secrets on production of nuclear weapons

Terrorists try to get secrets on production of nuclear weapons — Security Council

Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Kokov pointed out that Russia registered terrorists’ attempts to gain access to information on the production of means of nuclear, chemical and biological damage
, MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/.
Terrorists are trying to obtain information on the production of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Kokov said in an interview Wednesday.”We register terrorists’ attempts to gain access to information on the production of means of nuclear, chemical and biological damage, as well as their heightened attention to possible use of biological agents and toxic chemicals. To that extent, they deliberately recruit industry specialists, including professors and students of chemical and biological universities,” Kokov said………

October 7, 2021 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Russia withdraws offer to freeze nuclear warhead production

Russia withdraws offer to freeze nuclear warhead production, Yahoo News,  Joel Gehrke, Sat, October 2, 2021 Russian President Vladimir Putin is no longer interested in a joint freeze of nuclear weapons production with the United States, according to a senior Russian envoy who protested American inspections requests and a recent agreement to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.

“No, it was a one-time offer, and it was said so to the U.S. They missed the opportunity,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Geneva Center for Security Policy, per state media. “They didn’t want a freeze on all warheads — they wanted an extremely intrusive verification and control at all our nuclear-related facilities.”

Ryabkov aired the withdrawal of that proposal following a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for what both sides described as “intensive and substantive” arms control talks. He complained about the U.S. and United Kingdom’s decision to partner with Australia on a submarine deal widely perceived as directed at China, and both Russian and American officials underscored that the negotiations are unlikely to produce a deal anytime soon…………………..

October 7, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia aims to lift old dead nuclear submarines from the bottom of the Barents and Kara Seas by 2030

Russia to Lift Radioactive Time Bombs From Ocean Floor in 2030, Two rusty nuclear submarines will be raised from the sea beds of the Barents and Kara Seas and brought to a shipyard for safe decommissioning. By The Barents Observer  4 Oct 21,  The November-class K-159 submarine sank in late August 2003 while being towed in bad weather from the closed naval base of Gremikha on the eastern shores of the Kola Peninsula toward the Nerpa shipyard north of Murmansk.

Researchers have monitored the wreck ever since, fearing leakages of radioactivity from the two old nuclear reactors onboard could contaminate the important fishing grounds in the Barents Sea. A joint Norwegian-Russian expedition examined the site in 2014 and concluded that no leakage has so far occurred from the reactors to the surrounding marine environment.

However, the bad shape of the hull could eventually lead to radionuclide leakages. A modeling study by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research said that a pulse discharge of the entire Caesium-137 inventory from the two reactors could increase concentrations in cod in the eastern part of the Barents Sea up to 100 times current levels for a two-year period after the discharge. While a Cs-137 increase of 100 times in cod sounds dramatic, the levels would still be below international guidelines, but tell that to the market buying the fish.

Now, Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom has announced the date for lifting the K-159 to 2030.

“As indicated in the strategy for the development of the Arctic, 2030, not earlier,” Anatoly Grigoriev, head of Rosatom’s international technical assistance project, told Interfax.

Grigoriev said Atomflot, the state operator of civilian nuclear-powered icebreakers whose technical base is just north of Murmansk, could become the contractor for the lifting.

The Rosatom official added that the K-27, a submarine dumped in the Kara Sea in 1982, is also included on the list of nuclear objects on the Arctic seabed to be salvaged by 2030.

The submarine was dumped at a depth of 33 meters in the Stepovogo fjord on the eastern shores of Novaya Zemlya.

Last month, divers from the Center for Underwater Research of the Russian Geographical Society conducted a survey of the submarine’s hull. Metal pieces were cut free and the thickness of the hull was measured, along with other inspections of the submarine that has been corroding on the seabed for nearly 40 years. 

Based on the examination, a detailed plan will be worked out on how to conduct the salvage with destabilizing the uranium fuel in the reactors in such a way that a new chain reactor could be restarted with a worst-case scenario of triggering direct contact between the uranium fuel and seawater. 

October 5, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

The sunken nuclear submarines: Russia’s ‘slow-motion Chernobyl’ at sea 

One of them is the K-27, once known as the “golden fish” because of its high cost. The 360ft-long (118m) attack submarine (a submarine designed to hunt other submarines) was plagued with problems since its 1962 launch with its experimental liquid-metal-cooled reactors, one of which ruptured six years later and exposed nine sailors to fatal doses of radiation. In 1981 and 1982, the navy filled the reactor with asphalt and scuttled it east of Novaya Zemlya island in a mere 108ft (33m) of water. A tugboat had to ram the bow after a hole blown in the ballast tanks only sank the aft end.

The K-27 was sunk after some safety measures were installed that should keep the wreck safe until 2032. But another incident is more alarming. The K-159, a 350ft (107m) November-class attack submarine, was in service from 1963 to 1989. The K-159 sank with no warning, sending 800kg (1,760lb) of spent uranium fuel to the seafloor beneath busy fishing and shipping lanes just north of Murmansk. Thomas Nilsen, editor of The Barents Observer online newspaper, describes the submarines as a “Chernobyl in slow motion on the seabed”.

While the vast size of the oceans quickly dilutes radiation, even very small levels can become concentrated in animals at the top of the food chain through “bioaccumulation” – and then be ingested by humans. But economic consequences for the Barents Sea fishing industry, which provides the vast majority of cod and haddock at British fish and chip shops, “may perhaps be worse than the environmental consequences”, says Hilde Elise Heldal, a scientist at Norway’s Institute of Marine Research.

But an accident while raising the submarine, on the other hand, could suddenly jar the reactor, potentially mixing fuel elements and starting an uncontrolled chain reaction and explosion. That could boost radiation levels in fish 1,000 times normal or, if it occurred on the surface, irradiate terrestrial animals and humans, another Norwegian study found.

Russia’s ‘slow-motion Chernobyl’ at sea, By Alec Luhn, 2nd September 2020

Beneath some of the world’s busiest fisheries, radioactive submarines from the Soviet era lie disintegrating on the seafloor. Decades later, Russia is preparing to retrieve them.

By tradition, Russians always bring an odd number of flowers to a living person and an even number to a grave or memorial. But every other day, 83-year-old Raisa Lappa places three roses or gladiolas by the plaque to her son Sergei in their hometown Rubtsovsk, as if he hadn’t gone down with his submarine during an ill-fated towing operation in the Arctic Ocean in 2003.

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October 2, 2021 Posted by | oceans, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, Russia, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia warns that AUKUS is a ” a great challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.”

AUKUS deal leaves Russia ‘concerned’ that Australia will have nuclear-powered submarines, ABC 1 Oct 21, Russia says it is concerned that the AUKUS defence agreement between Australia, Britain and the United States will allow Australia to enter the select group of nations that operate nuclear-powered submarines.

Key points:

  • Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the pact is a challenge to global nuclear non-proliferation
  • The EU has delayed free trade talks with Australia for a month but denies it is in retaliation for ripping up a submarine deal with France
  • The AUKUS announcement has angered China which has previously questioned Australia’s willingness to improve relations

Currently the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China operate such submarines.

The three-way pact, under which Australia will obtain nuclear submarine technology from the United States, has angered France and concerned China since it was announced………..

We are also concerned about the … partnership that will allow Australia, after 18 months of consultations and several years of attempts, to obtain nuclear-powered submarines in sufficient numbers to become one of the top five countries for this type of armaments,” Mr Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russia’s TASS news agency.

“This is a great challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.”

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said earlier in the week that the security pact brings a hidden danger to regional peace, stability and international order.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying also questioned whether Australia really cared about improving relations with China.

The defence pact has worried some of Australia’s closer neighbours………….

October 2, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia confirms that ”Nuclear is Green”- George Orwell would be fascinated.

Russia confirms nuclear as green while EU remains undecided   NEI, 30 September 2021    The assignment of the status of a “green” energy source to nuclear power generation in the Russian Federation should be a signal for other countries considering the inclusion of nuclear energy in their “green” lists, Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev said on 27 September. The previous week, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin had approved the criteria for the selection of “green” projects and initiatives in the field of sustainable development for concessional financing. 

Among the “green” areas of energy, nuclear energy is separately designated……….

The approval of the Russian“ green ”taxonomy is an important step within the framework of the national climate and environmental agenda, an incentive for the development of  green industries and projects,” Likhachev noted.   He added that the taxonomy officially established the status of nuclear energy as a “green” source, along with solar, wind and geothermal energy.

“This confirms the effectiveness of nuclear power plants in combating climate change and opens up access to green financing instruments. We hope that the Russian taxonomy will become a signal for foreign countries considering the issue of including nuclear energy in their green lists, he stressed.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has pushed back the deadline for objections to proposed rules for green investments, allowing an additional two months to scrutinise the policy. EU countries will now have until early December, instead of October, to scrutinise these rules………

The Commission is due to publish a second proposal in the coming months, confirming whether the taxonomy will label investments in nuclear and gas as green…………  Countries such as France and Hungary are strong supporters of nuclear power, and say investments the low-carbon energy source should be encouraged to fight climate change. Others, including Austria and Luxembourg, are strongly opposed. One EU official said the analysis suggested Austria may consider legal action if the EU included nuclear in the taxonomy, Reuters reported……..

October 2, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

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 | Leave a comment

Norway paid to help Russian nuclear submarine waste clean-up – but now – new submarines!

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

Hindered from on-site meetings due to the pandemic, today’s 25-years anniversary meeting in Andreeva Bay is long overdue. However, the meeting comes in pole position as the two countries are trying to improve bilateral relations in times of more complex geopolitics and higher tensions between NATO and Russia up north.

……. ensuring nuclear safety is another topic for good bilateral cooperation.

For the Soviet nuclear navy, the Coastal Technical Base in Andreeva Bay became the main storage site for both spent fuel assemblies from submarine reactors, as well as a site to store containers with solid radioactive waste. Focus was not on safety and after years of exposure to Arctic climate, the site became contaminated and the infrastructure started to fall apart. With Russia being broke after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the call for international action was precarious. Norwegian money, and will to solve the problem, was most welcomed……………

Success story 

More than 2 billion kroner (nearly €200 million) of Norwegian taxpayers money are spent on helping Russia secure its nuclear legacy since the mid-1990ties. The ground-breaking nuclear safety work initiated on the Kola Peninsula, only some 60 km from the border to Norway, has since been followed by many other countries and international financial grant programs.

For projects in Andreeva Bay, Norway has paid more than €30 million on things like fixing electricity, water pipelines, roads, fences, constructing a new sanitary building and improving the old pier in port with a new lifting crane. About half of the 21,000 spent uranium fuel elements originally stored in three rundown concrete tanks is so far lifted out, repacked and shipped out of Andreeva Bay. First to Atomflot in Murmansk, then by train further to Russia’s reprocessing plant at Mayak in the South Urals. Some 10,000 cubic meters of solid radioactive waste that previously was stored outdoor and exposed to snow and frost is now under roof in a new building erected at the site. Soon, also that will be transported away.

Present at the celebrations in Andreeva Bay is also representatives from the environmental NGO Bellona. It was this organization, with offices both in Murmansk and Oslo, that before the official country-to-country cooperation started, was first to uncover security breaches and the urgency to act before the entire storage site turned out to be a Chernobyl in slow-motion.

“Time has come” 

Bellona’s Aleksandr Nikitin says to the Barents Observer that the time has come for Russia to solve its own nuclear challenges, not the international community. “But first we have to complete already started international projects, like the nuclear legacy,” Nikitin says and points to the ongoing work in Andreeva Bay………….

Meanwhile, and unlike the 1990ties, Russia is now investing huge money in building new nuclear-powered submarines and other military nuclear installations. A key question is whether Moscow now is arming the country again into a nuclear age that later could cause similar radiological waste challenges as the legacy from the last Cold War created.

…….. It is a task for Russia and Rosatom. We cannot hire anymore for a rich uncle from the west to come and help again. It was a time when it was necessary, not anymore.”

Meanwhile, Aleksandr Nikitin is glad to see the solution-oriented results of the work in Andreeva Bay.

“Bellona started it, and we have to finish it,” he says………………………………….

A Norwegian intelligence official has previously expressed fears for more accidents with the reactor-powered weapons systems now under testing and development in Norway’s neighboring areas up north.

For Norway, a challenge is to balance the aid-support to nuclear safety with making sure no funding ends up in Russia’s new crazy nuclear weapons programs…………..

The “Serebryanka” dilemma  

A review made by the Barents Observer of the publicly available documents on financial aid from Norway and Sweden to equip modern communication and positioning systems on board “Serebryanka” shows that about 9 million kroner (€900,000) were spent on the project in 2013 and 2014. That was shortly before the Burevestnik testing program started. 

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, in charge of the project, says in its annual overview of Non-Proliferation cooperation for 2013 that the “Serebryanka” was the largest project initiated in the Murmansk region.

Stockholm spent 4,1 million Swedish kroner (SEK) on equipment for “Serebryanka” in 2013 and an additional 217,000 SEK in 2014.

Describing the project
, the Radiation Safety Authority writes: “This project is co-financed with Norway and the purpose is to equip the vessel “Serebryanka” with a physical protection system, as well as communications and positioning systems, in order to increase security when transporting nuclear materials and radioactive substances.”

The Norwegian share of the project was 3 million Norwegian kroner, paid as part of the Nuclear Action Plan financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Asked about the potential conflicting interests, State Secretary Audun Halvorsen in Norway’s Foreign Ministry told the Barents Observer upfront of the annual meeting in the Norwegian-Russian Commission on Nuclear Safety this spring that “…. our bilateral cooperation on nuclear safety projects are related to civilian activities only, and questions regarding military activities are therefore considered outside of the scope of the commission by the Russian side.”

September 30, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics, politics international, Russia, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia developing more floating nuclear power plants

 A Russian plan to build more floating nuclear power plants advanced this
month after two subsidiaries of Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear
corporation, signed a cooperation agreement to power a remote mining
facility on Siberia’s northeastern tip. The new waterborne facilities
will come on the coattails of the Akademik Lomonosov, the audacious
experiment on floating nuclear power that Rosatom connected to a remote
port in Chukotka in 2019 after spending more than a decade constructing it,
amid objections from environmentalists.

 Bellona 17th Sept 2021

September 21, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Russia urges IAEA monitoring, ‘transparency’ on US-Australia nuclear sub pact,

Russia urges IAEA monitoring, ‘transparency’ on US-Australia nuclear sub pact, Press TV, Friday, 17 September 2021
 Russia warns against Australia’s attempt to becoming a nuclear power under a trilateral pact Canberra signed with the United States and Britain earlier this week.

Russian Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Friday that “time has not come yet for such estimations” about Australia turning into a nuclear power.

Under a new Australia-UK-US alliance (Aukus), Canberra would be building at least eight nuclear submarines, using US technology.

The first of the submarines is expected to enter service is 2036.

Ulyanov warned that the plan “is alarming and makes you keep a close eye on that.”

“Australia is a non-nuclear power,” he said, adding that “all this should be closely supervised by the IAEA and its inspection mechanism.”……..

Many observers warned that  the trilateral pact could lead to a situation very similar to the US-Russian arms race during the cold war……

September 20, 2021 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear ballistic missile submarine meltdown, 1961

Ki19 Russianballistic missile submarine

August 24, a nuclear submarine ever had a meltdown? Laurence Schmidt, Worked at Air Liquide America (1975–2010,

In the early Cold War Era, many Russian nuclear submarines had catastrophic engineering plant failures. These failures were caused by the soviet’s rush to equal the USN in its nuclear submarine ballistic missile program; they were poorly design and constructed, lack safety system redundancy and had haphazardly trained crews. But the crews of these boats were heroic in risking their lives to save their boats in stark life and death emergencies at sea.

One example is the case of the K-19, the first Russian nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine, nicknamed the “Hiroshima” boat, because of her numerous incidences.

On July 4, 1961, while at sea, one of its two nuclear reactors SCRAMMED. The primary cooling system had failed, flooding the reactor spare with radioactive water, and there was no backup system to cool the reactor core. As the reactor rods overheated, the engineering staff try a desperate plan to improvise a cooling system; to tie into the sub’s drinking water system. But it would require several men entering the highly radioactive reactor compartment to weld new piping to pumps and valves. The first jury-rigged attempt failed with 8 crewmen being horribly burnt by the high temperatures and exposed to lethal doses of radiation. They all soon died. After other attempts, the jury-rigged system finally worked, but other crew members too close to the reactor compartment would also soon die. The crew was evacuated to a nearby submarine, and the K-19 was towed back to base for repair. In total, 22 of the crew of 139 died of radiation sickness.

A section of the radiation contaminated hull was replaced, and a new power reactor unit was installed. The two original reactors, including their fuel rods, were dumped in the Kara Sea in 1965. A favorite dumping ground for Russian navy nuclear waste, including damaged nuclear reactors to whole ships.

Did the K-19 reactor meltdown? I would say yes.

September 14, 2021 Posted by | incidents, Reference, Russia | 1 Comment

Russia aims to dominate the Arctic, with nuclear ice-breakers

Moscow eyes ‘mastering’ Arctic waters with nuclear icebreaker fleet, Daily Sabah, BY FRENCH PRESS AGENCY – AFP, 8 Sept 21,

s ice cover in the Arctic recedes with climate change, Russia is hard at work to secure supremacy in the warming region with a fleet of giant nuclear-powered icebreakers.

Moscow sees the development of the Arctic as a historic mission and already has huge projects to exploit its natural resources.

Its next big plan is for year-round use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), a shipping lane through Arctic waters Russia hopes could rival the Suez Canal.

Here are some key facts about Russia’s plans for the Arctic:

Historic ambitions

As an icebreaker called the “50 Years of Victory” left the port of Murmansk for the North Pole this summer, its captain told an Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist on board that Russia has a special role to play in the Arctic.

“A third of our territory lies above the Arctic Circle. Our ancestors have long mastered frozen waters. We are continuing this successfully,” Dmitry Lobusov said.

President Vladimir Putin has made the development of the Arctic a strategic priority and state companies such as Gazprom Neft, Norilsk Nickel and Rosneft already have major projects in the Arctic to extract oil, gas and minerals.

“The Arctic region has enormous potential,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this month.

“In terms of resources, we’re talking about 15 billion tons of oil and 100 trillion cubic meters of gas. Enough for tens if not hundreds of years,” he said.

Suez alternative

The NSR links the Pacific to the Atlantic through Russian Arctic waters.

It is not currently navigable year-round without the help of icebreakers, though in summer some specialized classes of ships can pass through.

With the ice cover receding, Moscow is aiming for year-round navigation by 2030…………..

Growing fleet

Rosatom, which already has a fleet of five icebreakers and a container ship, is building four more nuclear-powered vessels within the next five years.,,,,,,,,,,,

Environmental worries

Environmental groups have slammed the race for hydrocarbons and the increased presence of nuclear reactors in the Arctic – an already fragile ecosystem dramatically affected by climate change.

Greenpeace has said that “the incident-ridden history of Russian nuclear icebreakers and submarines” should cause alarm.,,,,

September 9, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Nuclear and Climate Clash – Russia’s nuclear weapons centre threatened by wildfires.

The fires have reached the closed city of Sarov, which has been a center for nuclear research since the Soviet era and was the site of the first Soviet atomic bomb’s development.  

Today, the research center makes nuclear warheads and is believed to be developing Russia’s strategic missiles, including its highly touted hypersonic arsenal. 

Wildfires Near Russia’s Nuclear Research Center Spark State of Emergency  Aug. 24, 2021 Russian authorities have declared an interregional state of emergency as tough-to-contain forest fires threaten the country’s top-secret nuclear weapons research center, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing the emergencies ministry. 

Wildfires have raged in the Nizhny Novgorod region and the neighboring republic of Mordovia, both roughly 500 kilometers east of Moscow, since early August.

The fires have reached the closed city of Sarov, which has been a center for nuclear research since the Soviet era and was the site of the first Soviet atomic bomb’s development.  

Today, the research center makes nuclear warheads and is believed to be developing Russia’s strategic missiles, including its highly touted hypersonic arsenal. 

Firefighters have struggled to contain the fires due to hard-to-reach terrain, dead wood that remained after the 2010 wildfires and poor weather conditions.

Several aircraft from the Emergency Situations Ministry and Defense Ministry have been deployed to fight the fires. 

The emergencies ministry told Interfax that two helicopters and a Be-200ES aircraft will be deployed to the site of the fires on Wednesday. 

Russia has been hit hard by an unprecedented wildfire season fueled by historic heatwaves and drought conditions exacerbated by climate change, particularly in Siberia. 

August 26, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia begins constructing nuclear submarines amid increasing friction with West

Russia begins constructing nuclear submarines amid increasing friction with West,  By Guy Taylor– The Washington Times – Monday, August 23, 2021

Russia has begun building new nuclear submarines capable of carrying intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of a wide-reaching military modernization effort amid rising tensions with the United States and other Western powers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin personally announced the new construction, delivering orders via a video call Monday for two ICBM-armed nuclear submarines, as well as two diesel-powered subs and two corvettes at shipyards in Severodvinsk, St. Petersburg and Komsomolsk-on-Amur………..

On a separate front, U.S. military officials sought to draw attention to the increased Russian military activity in the Arctic.

In April, CNN reported that new imagery had revealed a major Russian build-up in the Arctic and claimed Moscow had begun actively testing new weapons in the region, parts of which are freshly ice-free due to changing climate patterns.

Moscow’s apparent goal is to secure its northern coast and dominate a key shipping route from Asia to Europe.

The April CNN report cited weapons experts and Western officials expressing particular concern about one Russian “super-weapon” — the unmanned Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, a stealth projectile powered by a nuclear reactor and intended by Russian designers to sneak past coastal defenses on the seafloor……..

Monday’s ceremony for the new ships was part of the Army-2021 show intended to showcase military might and attract foreign customers for Russia‘s arms industries. The weeklong show features aircraft, tanks, missiles and other weapons.

“Many of our weapons have capabilities that have no analogues in the world, and some will remain unrivaled for a long time to come,” the Russian president said.

August 24, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment