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calendar   Friday - August 07, 2020

Makes Me Wonder

Russian Arctic Cleanup: Going Green With The Glowing Green?

Over decades Sovs dumped 18,000 nuclear refuse objects on Arctic Ocean floor

image

Gotta wonder where that Arctic warming is coming from, eh?

Russia has several thousand nuclear objects dumped on its Arctic sea floor. Now, the most dangerous will be removed
The country’s nuclear energy company will over the next 8 years lift two submarines and four reactor compartments from the sea bottom of the Barents and Kara Seas.

These objects are not environmentally safe, a representative of Rosatom made clear as he this week presented a clean-up plan for the north Russian waters.

In the period between the late 1960s to the late 1980s, about 18 thousand radioactive objects were dumped to sea in the remote northern waters. Most of them represent little environmental risk. But some are increasingly seen as a hazard to Arctic ecosystems.

“Rosatom over the next eight years intend to lift from the bottom of Russian Arctic waters the six objects that are most dangerous with regard to radioactive pollution,” the company spokesperson told news agency TASS.
Two entire subs

On the list of objects are the reactors from submarines “K-11”, “K-19” and “K-140”, as well as spent nuclear fuel from the reactor that served icebreaker “Lenin”.

In addition, two entire submarines will be lifted, the “K-27” from the Kara Sea and “K-159” from the Barents Sea. While the former was deliberately dumped by Soviet authorities in 1982, the latter sunk during a towing operation in 2003.

The “K-27” is located on 33 meter depths east of archipelago Novaya Zemlya. It has by experts been described as a possible radioactive “time-bomb”. The “K-159” is located on 200 meter depths off the coast of the Kola Peninsula.

now all they need is for somebody else to pay for the cleanup

The lifting operation of the hazardous nuclear wastes will not only be technically difficult, but also very expensive.

A recent report made for Rosatom and the European Commission evaluated the costs of lifting the six most dangerous objects to €278 million. That includes bringing them safely to a yard for decommissioning and long-term storage.

The operation with the “K-159” is alone estimated to cost €57,5 millions. The lifting the “K-27”, transporting to a shipyard for decommissioning and long-term storage in Saida Bay, will come at a price of €47,7 millions, the report reads.
International cooperation

Hardly, Russia’s increasingly cash-strapped treasury will not have €278 millions for the cleanup.

Previously, a number of countries have granted billions to Post-Soviet Russian efforts to cope with nuclear wastes.

The greatest amount Global Warming has been along the Russian Arctic coast. Golly, do you think there could be a connection?

Oh BTW, it’s been an imperative that the K-159 and K-27 be immediately raised from the seabed ... for more than 6 years now. That’s after years of empty promises. The ships have been there for decades.

[ May 2014, MURMANSK ]– It is of critical importance that two sunken derelict Russian nuclear submarines, one of which was scuttled as radioactive trash and the other of which sank in rough weather on its way to decommissioning, be raised from the floor of the Kara Sea, scholars from Moscow’s Kurchatov Institute said Friday.

The two subs in question – the K-159 and the K-27 – lay on the ocean floor, the first at the entrance to Kola Bay and the second in the shallows surrounding the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago, a former nuclear bomb testing range during Soviet times, as well as something of a dumping ground for Cold War legacy nuclear waste.

Both have also been the subject of long-time promises by Russian officials that they will indeed be raised.

According to Alexei Kazennov, a researcher with Moscow’s respected Kurchatov institute, the K-159, which sank in August 2003 under tow to decommissioning at the Nerpa shipyard – in more than 200 meters of water, taking with it 800 kilograms of highly enriched uranium fuel and claiming the lives all nine sailors aboard – is currently emitting one and a half times as much radioactivity as dozens of other radiological hazards dumped at sea over time by the Soviet and Russian navies.

The K-27 submarine, was scuttled in 50 meters of water in Stepovogo Bay of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in the Kara Sea in 1981 after a serious reactor accident that killed nine. Its reactors contain 90 kilograms of uranium-235.
...
It is worth bearing in mind that the K-159 sunk while under tow across a major ship-trafficking waterway as well as one populated by fisheries.
...
Large-scale dumping of radioactive waste and nuclear fuel was at its height between 1965 and 1972. Some 17,000 tons of solid radioactive waste are estimated to have been purposely sunk in its waters, in addition to the K-27, and the 907 nuclear submarine, which has two reactors on board. Other solid radioactive waste in the region includes biological shielding assemblies from the Lenin nuclear icebreaker, whose location has not yet been determined. Another piece of unaccounted-for nuclear trash under the sea is the port-side reactor of the 421 nuclear submarine.

According to the Kurchatov Institute, the biological shields are the most radioactive of waste items sunk in the Kara Sea, second only to spent nuclear fuel. The activity of a caisson with such a biological screen in 2012 measured 1196.7 terebequerel, or 32.4 kilocurie, which is some 30 percent of the entire activity of radioactive waste submerged in the Kara Sea.

How do you say “We’ll get right on it, someday, maybe” in Russian?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/07/2020 at 08:39 AM   
Filed Under: • EnvironmentRussia •  
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