Soviet nuclear submarine that sank 30 years ago still emitting radiation

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2019

Radioactivity levels "thin out" quickly at these depths and there are few fish in the area, she said.

The experimental submarine featured two titanium hulls - one inside the other - to give the submarine the ability to dive deeper than any USA submarines.

Of the 69 crew on board Komsomolets, 42 were killed, mostly from hypothermia as they awaited rescue.

The remotely operated vehicle called Aegir 6000 examines the wreck of the Soviet nuclear submarine Komsomolets, southwest of Bear Island in the Norwegian Arctic, Norway, in this handout image released July 10, 2019.

Its front section has six torpedo tubes, and the sub could also launch Granit cruise missiles.

The scientific mission's samples show levels of radioactivity at the site up to 800,000 higher than normal, the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority said in a statement.

Twenty-seven sailors survived - they were eventually picked up by two Soviet ships. However, no leaks have ever been found.

The institute said that findings were around 100 Becquerel (Bq) per liter as opposed to around 0.001 Bq per liter elsewhere in the Norwegian Sea. However, other samples from the same duct didn't contain elevated values.

When Norwegian scientists carried out tests on the wreck a decade ago, no radiation leakage was found.

These new results could indicate that the submarine has become risky.

The Norwegian radiation specialists and marine researchers were accompanied by experts from Russia's Typhoon Research and Production Association.

Hilde Elise Heldal, of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, said: "It is important that the monitoring of the nuclear submarine continues, so that we have updated knowledge about the pollution situation in the area around the wreck". "So we weren't surprised to find high levels here".

One of three seawater samples taken from the Komsomolets on Monday has returned radiation levels 100,000 times higher than normal seawater, TV2 reported. Photos of the sunken submarine showed the rusty wreckage lying at a depth of 1,700 meters. Its maximum speed was 30 knots (56km/h).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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