Naval tanker suffers accident

Publish date: August 10, 1999

Written by: Igor Kudrik

Officials deny, but journalists confirm accident onboard naval radwaste storage tanker in the Far East.

A naval tanker for liquid radioactive waste suffered an accident in the Russian Far East, Russian daily Izvestiya reported last week. Pacific Fleet officials denied the reports but local journalists in Vladivostok confirmed the information.

According to the Far East daily Vladivostok, a Belyanka class naval tanker the Pinega suffered an accident. Liquid radioactive waste leaked out of the 800 cubic meters storage tank and flooded the ship’s compartments. The accident reportedly occurred on August 5. The amount of the leaked waste is not specified in the reports. The tanker was stationed in the vicinity of Zvezda shipyard, the city of Bol’shoy Kamen, in Ussuriyskiy Bay.

This Monday, Pacific Fleet and Zvezda shipyard officials denied any radioactive water leaking out into the sea but would not elaborate on the possible accident onboard the Pinega.

The Russian Navy has two Belyanka class tankers in operation: the Pinega in the Pacific Fleet and the Amur in the Northern Fleet commissioned in 1987 and 1984 respectively. Each ship has a storage capacity of 800 cubic meters of liquid waste. The ships are outfitted with special filtering installations to treat the waste, but the installations have been out of order the past years.