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Oil spill in the Arctic Circle - Russia imposes a state of emergency!

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after 20,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into a river in the Arctic Circle region. The leak occurred last Friday after a fuel tank collapsed at a power plant near the Siberian town of Norilsk. The plant belongs to the Norilsk Nickel concern, which is the
Published: June 4, 2020 - 12:35
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 19:58
Oil spill in the Arctic Circle – Russia imposes a state of emergency!

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after 20,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into a river in the Arctic Circle region. The leak occurred last Friday after a fuel tank collapsed at a power plant near the Siberian town of Norilsk.

The plant belongs to the Norilsk Nickel concern, which is the world’s leading producer of nickel and palladium. During a televised video conference on Wednesday, Putin admonished the head of the company for its reaction.

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As the BBC reports, those responsible can expect serious consequences. President Putin was said to be furious that they only reported the whole situation two days after the incident.

“Why did government agencies only find out about this two days after the fact? Are we supposed to find out about emergencies now from social media?” asked branch chief Sergei Lipin.

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Krasnoyarsk Krai Governor Alexander Uss earlier told President Putin that he learned of the oil spill on Sunday after alarming reports appeared on social media.

According to reports in the Russian media, the leak has so far contaminated an area of around 350 km². The president has ordered a thorough investigation into the accident, while the plant manager has been detained until the whole situation is clarified.

In an official statement, the Noril nickel concern said the accident was reported in a timely and appropriate manner.


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A post shared by Илья (@ilya_torgonskyi) on Jun 3, 2020 at 3:48am PDT

The accident occurred when the pillars supporting the fuel tank at the power station began to sink. The area where the power plant is built is on permafrost, which is melting as the climate continues to warm. The leaking oil drifted for about 12 km from the site, colouring long stretches of the Ambarnaya River scarlet red.

The imposition of a state of emergency means that additional forces will be deployed to the site to help with the entire spill and contamination clean-up operation. The accident is believed to be the second largest in modern Russian history, but never before has there been such a serious accident in the Arctic zone.

It is estimated that the clean-up of the spill could cost 100 billion roubles ($1.5 billion) and take between five and 10 years.

Source: bbc.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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