Radioactive wrecks to be raised from the Kara Sea floor
© RIA Novosti. Vitaliy Ankov

Radioactive wrecks to be raised from the Kara Sea floor

Director General of ROSATOM State Corporation Alexei Likhachyov said the company is considering raising radioactive equipment and vessels from the bed of the Kara Sea that were sunk in Soviet times because they may create nuclear and radiation security risks.

In the 1960s, five reactor blocks from nuclear power units on ships were sunk off the eastern coast of Novaya Zemlya. A barge carrying a damaged reactor containing spent nuclear fuel that was removed from a Shch-421 nuclear submarine, also sunk in the Novaya Zemlya Depression in the Kara Sea.

According to experts, the K-27 submarine with two nuclear reactors fueled by highly enriched uranium is the most dangerous of all the nuclear and radiation debris sunk in the Kara Sea in Soviet time. It has been on the floor of Stepovoy Bay (Novaya Zemlya archipelago) since 1981.

Likhachyov said ROSATOM's activities in the Arctic are not limited to transportation services. It is also involved in major environmental projects. Proper disposal of sunken wrecks and equipment that pose a nuclear and radiation risk is important not only for safe navigation along the Northern Sea Route but also for the environmental wellbeing of the Arctic.