(March 6, 1992) Greenpeace reports that 12 submarine nuclear reactors and three icebreaker reactors were dumped by the former USSR in the Kara Sea, off the coast of Novaya Zemlaya.
(368.3612) WISE Amsterdam - Their information comes from sources inside the CIS, researched by Alexander Yemelanenkov, Russian chairperson of the anti-testing association "Towards Novaya Zemlya" and Andrei Zolotkov, a nuclear engineer aboard the "Imandra", a nuclear refuelling ship for icebreakers in Murmansk. Although groups such as Greenpeace, the CIS-based For a Nuclear Free North, and the Norwegian foundation Bellona have previously documented Soviet dumping of nuclear waste in this area, this is the first public disclosure that submarines and their nuclear reactors were also dumped there. (See WISE News Communique 364.3578)
REGIONAL N-DUMPS BEING CONSIDERED IN NORTH CIS
One whole submarine, the K-27 (powered by a liquid-metal cooled reactor), was dumped in the Stepovov Gulf after an accident in May 1968. Its two fuelled nuclear reactors were dumped in the same location off the southern island in 1982. Eight reactors, three of which still contain their nuclear fuel, were dumped along with sections of four accident-damaged nuclear submarines in waters just south of the K-27. The submarine sections - from the K-11, K-3 Leninski Komosomel, the K-19 Hiroshima and one unknown - were reportedly dumped during the years 1964-65. Five more reactors, including the three damaged reactors from the icebreaker "Lenin" litter the seabed. Over 17,000 containers of liquid and solid radioactive waste were also dumped: the location of some 10,000 of these containers has now been made public.
Greenpeace is working towards a worldwide ban on nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed ships and submarines. For a list of submarine, reactor and waste dump sites, write to the address below.
Source: Greenpeace (GreenNet, gn.nuclear, gn topic 83, 28 Feb. 1992).
Contact: John Sorange or Jacquelyn Walsh, Greenpeace Communications Ltd, 5 Baker's Row, London, EC1R 3DB, UK; tel: 44 71 833 0600; fax: 44 71 837 6606; telex: 8953660 GPCOMMS G.