Russian specialists found on the bottom of the Karst Sea off the coast of the New Earth archipelago a container for the nuclear reactor of one of the first Soviet nuclear submarines K-19, whose accident in 1961 later became the subject of a Hollywood film.
This was reported by the Russian media, referring to the commander of the aeromobile rescue unit of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations Yevgeny Linejtsev.
“The container is examined and sampled, “said the Lenta.ru portal. Other media are asking whether the finding could be a potential source of danger, because the K-19, persecuted for its services by accidents, was the famous” scarecrow “of the Soviet navy.
Finding the container was the goal of Linejcev’s expedition, sailing on the research ship Akademik Mstislav Keldyš. The container was discovered on Thursday in Ambrosiev’s Bay with the help of technology.
The first ballistic missile carrier
Specialists should soon sink the container, inspect it and take samples, even from the plants with which the container was overgrown. The K-19 nuclear submarine of the 658 project was the first carrier of ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads in the Soviet Navy. But her first voyage ended in an accident, but the vessel managed to be transported back to the base.
Nine sailors died as a result of strong doses of radiation. Due to numerous other accidents – it collided with an American submarine in 1969 and a fire followed three years later – the submarine was nicknamed Hiroshima.
In 1990, it was scrapped and scrapped. The portal added that in the bays there is a huge amount of radioactive waste from nuclear weapons tests on the archipelago, as well as parts of nuclear submarines and the nuclear icebreaker Lenin. The K-27 nuclear submarine was sunk here in 1982, which itself suffered an accident with a radiation leak in 1968. This submarine was nicknamed Nagasaki for a change.
Arctic nuclear cemetery
And the local extremities are called the Arctic Nuclear Cemetery. Ecologists estimate that more than 17,000 containers of nuclear waste lie on the seabed, including 15 containers with reactors from nuclear submarines and five decommissioned submarines. “All this wealth must be checked from time to time for radiation danger, “the daily Moskovsky Komsomolec noted about the goals of the current expedition, equipped with, among other things, an underwater robot.
According to the contacted expert, the possible danger arising from the container depends on whether the K-19 reactor was once sunk with nuclear fuel, or they removed it beforehand, as commanded by the correct procedure.
An empty reactor would pose no danger, while otherwise it would be a “time bomb”. In Hollywood, they made the catastrophic film K-19: The Death Machine in 2002, starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.
For the Russian premiere of the film, 52 veterans from all over Russia and Ukraine gathered in St. Petersburg in October 2002, and some did not shed tears during the screening. “I am grateful to the American filmmakers who were the only ones to outwit the heroism of the K-19 crew. Sailors were not allowed to talk about the accident for decades, “said one of them, Vladimir Pogorelov, who called the film a real requiem. However, others criticized many inaccuracies in the film, such as the dispute between the captain, played by Ford, and one officer, played by Neeson.
According to Russian veterans, such a conflict has never occurred and is only an “invention of Uncle Sam”. The film at that time in Russia strongly recalled the national catastrophe of the summer of 2000, when all 118 sailors died in the wreckage of the sunken Kursk nuclear submarine.