Spent Nuclear Waste Lurks Beneath Arctic Ice

MarineLink.com
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Image courtesy of Russian Navy

Large-scale Soviet nuclear tests, dumping of spent fuel and two scuttled nuclear-powered submarines are a major source of pollution in the Arctic ocean, reports 'The Moscow Times'.

There are 17,000 containers and 19 vessels holding radioactive waste submerged in the Kara Sea, as well as 14 nuclear reactors, according to a report passed by Russia to the Norwegian authorities in 2012, says 'The Moscow Times' citing Bellona, an environmental group that acquired a copy of the document.

The sinking of nuclear material and scuttling of ships used to be widespread practice. Of particular worry now is the Soviet nuclear submarine, K-27, scuttled in 1981 in the Kara Sea. The boat, equipped with two nuclear reactors, was filled with bitumen and concrete before being sunk, according to the Russian Nuclear Safety Institute, to ensure that it would lie safely on the ocean floor for 50 years. After that a nuclear reaction could occur in the submarine. Not so long now ...

Source: 'The Moscow Times'
 

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