ARKHANGELSK, October 27 (Itar-Tass) - Solid radioactive waste drowned in the Soviet ear near the coast of the Arctic archipelago Novaya Zemlya now pose no threat to the environment, Dr. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov told Itar-Tass after a scientific expedition to the area.
The expedition organized by the Russian emergencies ministry and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oceanology sailed off from Arkhangelsk onboard the Professor Shtokman research vessel on September 28 and returned here 25 days later. The team of research also included nuclear specialists from the Krylovsky State Research Centre and the Kurchatovsky Institute.
“The programme of the expedition has been completely fulfilled.
We have inspected areas where solid radioactive waste of the Navy and the nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet were buried,” he said. “Thus, we have installed autonomous underwater radiation monitoring equipment in the Gulfs of Stepovoi and Abrosimov.” The buoys will record environmental data by 26 parameters. They will be lifter from the depth in a span of 12 months.
Expedition members also took numerous water and soil samples. Researchers and rescuers used the Pilgrim and Falcon remotely piloted submersibles to examine the sunken objects. “The results are as follows: even at a distance of several metres the radiation level does not exceed the maximally permissible one,” he noted.
The monitoring of potentially hazardous areas near Novaya Zemlya has been conducted on a regular basis for more than ten years.