Kursk reactors to be towed for storage in Sayda Bay

Publish date: November 21, 2001

Written by: Viktor Khabarov

The works on the Kursk in the Roslyakovo dock will be completed in two months. Then the submarine will be scrapped.

Since the beginning of the works on the Kursk, it was found more than 400 kg fragments of the unexploded torpedoes in submarine’s hull. No intact torpedoes were found, the commander of the Northern Fleet, Vyacheslav Popov, said. The dangerous cargo was mostly placed in the second and third compartments, and this hampered the works.

“Safety of the people who work there is the most important for us,” the admiral said.

According to Vyacheslav Popov, the investigators have almost finished the work in the second compartment, two to three meters are left to enter the third compartment. It will take not less than two months to complete the work there. About ten days is scheduled to finish the works in the fourth compartment.

The investigators finished with compartment no. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Now the experts from the Design Bureau Rubin work there. Soon the final documents on completion of the works in these compartments will be ready.

The submarine is being prepared for decommissioning, which was designed by the Rubin experts. According to Rubin deputy general designer, Vladimir Koloskov, some of the project documentation has been already handed over to Nerpa shipyard, where the Kursk will be decommissioned.

“Nothing can happen to the reactor. They will unload the nuclear fuel at the Nerpa. We have experience with such process,” Vyacheslav Popov said.

Unloading will take place not in the ordinary way. The fuel will be unloaded in the dock, although before it was carried out on the surface with the help of Northern Fleet service ships or Murmansk Shipping Company service ships.

After unloading fuel and cutting out the reactor compartment, the new construction consisting of three sections will be created: reactor compartment in the middle, and two sections on the sides, which will provide the floating capacity. The reactors will be towed to Sayda Bay. At present, more than 30 empty reactor compartments are kept afloat there.

While searching through the debris in the central compartments, five recorders were found, but the information was found only on three of them, the remaining two are empty. According to the Northern Fleet military prosecutor, Vladimir Mulov, they all have to be deciphered.

After drying the logbooks it turned out that they contained information, which could be read by the investigators. “But it does not mean that they contain information, which could help to reveal the mystery of submarine’s accident,” the prosecutor added.

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