Environmental safety passport for the Kursk operation

Publish date: August 9, 2001

According to the Russian officials, the measures suggested in this document will secure safety of the whole operation.




Code “Kursk-2001”


for operation “Lifting”


Vice-chief of the navy of the Russian Federation

M.K. Barskov

July 24, 2001


General Designer and Head of CDB ME Rubin

I.D. Spassky,

July 19, 2001




1. Pollutants onboard the submarine

2. Evaluation of the state of the equipment and ammunition, which can potentially influence environmental safety

2.1 Reactor installation

2.2 Missiles

2.3 Torpedoes

3. Safety of the main stages of operation

4. Environmental safety measures during lifting, transportation and docking

5. Conclusion


The accident on the nuclear submarine Kursk in Barents Sea on August 12, 2000, raised questions concerning environmental safety.

The Russian navy monitoring and observations of the accident’s area from August 2000 until June 2001 shows that:

– no anomalous techno- radionuclides were found in water or sediments in the vicinity of the submarine’s hull, what proves that radiation situation on Kursk and around is normal, stable and not different from the natural situation in this area of the Barents Sea.

– no traces of kerosene and oil is found on the surface and in the submarine’s compartments

1. Pollutants onboard the submarine

No Type Technical documentation
1 Diesel fuel L-0,5-62 GOST 305-82
2 Fuel T-6 aircraft kerosene
GOST 12308-89
3 Synthetic oil B-3V TU 38.101295
4 Engine oil M-20V2F GOST 12337-84
5 Inhibitor OST-V5.9952-84
6 Liquid PGV GOST 25821-83
7 Compressor oil K4-20 TU 38.101759-78
8 Coolant Khladon-12, GOST 19212-87

Quantity of the substances onboard the submarine is in accordance with the factual data of the Northern Fleet Technical department.

Maximum allowed concentration during fuel and oil spill (no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7) in water is 0.05 mg/l.

Fuel and oil are low toxic liquids of class 4 of danger scale. Khladon-12 (coolant) is harmless, liquid PGV (no.6) is non-toxic and harmless.

Impact of the above mentioned pollutants on the environment is described in “Basis for environmental safety” written by GMPI no.23 of the Russian Defence Ministry.

2. Evaluation of the state of the equipment and ammunition, which can potentially influence environmental safety

2.1 Main energy installation

The results of the conducted analysis and estimations of the equipment of the reactor installation as well as radiation monitoring from August 2000 until June 2001 and four expeditions in the accident area prove that the Kursk reactors are shut down and radiation protection barriers are intact.

Changing of the submarine’s position (list, differential, overturning) during lifting, transporting, and docking will not change the state of radiation protection barriers of the reactor installations or the state of active zones which are in subcritical state.

2.2 Missiles

Factual data about conditions of outer plates, containers obtained during observations by MIR submersibles, monitoring of the environment give conclusion that cutting off compartment 1st, underwater preparation technical works, lifting, transportation and docking are safe regarding missile ammunition providing the measures of organisational-technological character from “Safety passport” are followed.

2.3 Torpedoes

The state of torpedo ammunition allows to make conclusion that cutting off compartment 1st, lifting, transporting, and docking of Kursk may be carried out taking into account the measures mentioned in the “Safety passport”.

3. Safety of the main stages of operation

In course of lifting, transporting, and docking of Kursk company Mammut is offered to carry out the measures to secure:

  • technological safety
  • navigation safety
  • personnel safety
  • hydro-meteorological safety
  • environmental safety

4. Environmental safety measures to be conducted during lifting, transportation and docking

4.1 Radiation monitoring of the marine environment in the operation area from the navy boats engaging specialists and equipment of the Kurchatov Research Institute and the Krylov Research Institute

4.2 Dosimeter control during diver’s work, lifting, transporting, and docking

4.3 Applying underwater radiation monitoring for immediate measuring of radioactive substances concentration and the level of gamma-irradiation near the submarine.

4.4 Visual control of possible presence of oil spills on the surface during lifting and transporting, and possible usage of special boats for collecting oil spills.

4.5 Usage of the special collection plate installed under the dock for collecting the pollutants from the hull when dock surfaces with the submarine.

4.6 Taking water tests for radioactivity and oil content while water is pumped out from the submarine’s hull. Polluted water is to be pumped into the tanks.


The management measures adopted in the project “Lifting nuclear submarine Kursk”, measures to secure safety of the works, and design-technological measures fully provide environmental safety of all conducted works.

NOTE: Passport is the subject for correction after completion of “Basis of environmental safety for lifting, transporting and docking nuclear submarine Kursk”.