Kursk to be Scrapped by Year's End
The remains of the Kursk nuclear submarine are reportedly to be taken to a dismantling plant next month and will be scrapped by the end of the year. Though investigations on the ill-fated vessel are yet complete, officials have indicated that Kursk would be sent to the Nerpa plant in the northern Murmansk region for dismantling. Top officials said last month the probe was over, but that it had not determined for certain what prompted the explosions that sent the Kursk to the Barents Sea floor in August 2000, killing all 118 aboard.
Capt. Vadim Churikov, director of the Defense Ministry's 82nd ship repair plant, was quoted by the Interfax-Military News Agency as saying that the Kursk would be removed from the floating dock in the northern city of Roslyakovo in April and moved to the Nerpa plant.
Officials have said a practice torpedo set off two explosions on the Kursk, but what prompted the incident remains unclear. Russia's navy chief has said it was likely an internal torpedo malfunction, and the country's top prosecutor ruled out speculation that it was caused by a collision with a foreign submarine, but both have refused to issue a final conclusion.