Pengolodh (s.c) (pengolodh_sc) wrote,
Pengolodh (s.c)

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Russian nuclear submarine sinks at sea while being towed to breaker's yard

It seems that a Russian Project 627A (NATO call-sign November) nuclear-powered attack submarine under tow to the breaker's yard was lost in the early hours today. It carried a crew of 10-12 persons, with one survivor and two dead found so far. The reactors were shut down (and indeed had been cold since 1989), but there seems to be an immediate concern of leakages from the primary coolant circuit. The area where it sank has some significance for the young offspring of codfish and capelin, and this may be a concern for the Norwegian fisheries-industry on the medium and long term.

Edited to add: Apparently the submarine was kept floating with four air-filled pontoons attached to the hull. The conditions of the storm caused one pontoon to tear away from the hull, causing it to be unstable - as a result the submarine then capsized, and went down. The Russians are, according to some Norwegian news, planning on raising it; it sank in 170 metres (560ft) of water.

Also, see this thorough report by Norwegian environmental organisation Bellona.
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