Norway Reportedly Detects Radioactive Leakage From Soviet Sub in Arctic (Photo)

Europe

The sinking of the Komsomolets in 1989, which killed 42 seamen, is one of the most tragic stories of the Soviet Navy.

Norwegian researchers claim to have detected radioactive leakage from the Soviet nuclear submarine Komsomolets, which sank in Arctic waters in 1989.

On Monday afternoon, water samples were taken from the submarine’s ventilation pipe. While two samples found no leakage at all, a third one indicated a level of radioactivity 100,000 times higher than in ordinary seawater, national broadcaster NRK reported.

“The results are preliminary. We will examine the samples more thoroughly when we get home. The levels we have found here are 100 bq per litre”, Researcher Hilde Elise Heldal at the Institute of Marine Research explained.

The joint Russian-Norwegian expedition to measure radioactive leakage from the Komsomolets started on Saturday, when the Norwegian research vessel G.O. Sars departed from a quay in Tromsø.

As the submarine lies at the depth of 1,700 metres, collecting seawater and seabed samples is considered challenging. Therefore, researchers used the Norwegian-built remotely controlled mini-submarine Ægir 6000, which also took photographs of the spot, one of which was subsequently released by the Directorate for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (DSA).

​Heldal said she is not very surprised at the findings, since a 2007 Russian expedition also found radioactive emissions from the sunken…

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