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Old 02-14-2012, 01:02 PM  
Donger Donger is offline
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Russia faced major nuclear disaster in 2011-report

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8DE7U920120214

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MOSCOW, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Russia came close to nuclear disaster in late December when a blaze engulfed a nuclear-powered submarine carrying atomic weapons, a leading Russian magazine reported, contradicting official assurances that it was not armed.

Russian officials said at the time that all nuclear weapons aboard the Yekaterinburg nuclear submarine had been unloaded well before a fire engulfed the 167-metre (550 feet) vessel and there had been no risk of a radiation leak.

But the respected Vlast weekly magazine quoted several sources in the Russian navy as saying that throughout the fire on Dec. 29 the submarine was carrying 16 R-29 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each armed with four nuclear warheads.

"Russia, for a day, was on the brink of the biggest catastrophe since the time of Chernobyl," Vlast reported. The 1986 disaster in modern-day Ukraine is regarded as the world's worst nuclear accident.

Neither the Russian Defence Ministry nor the office of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who has responsibility for military matters, would immediately comment on the report. A spokesman for the navy could not be contacted.

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The fire started when welding sparks ignited wooden scaffolding around the 18,200-tonne submarine at the Roslyakovo docks, 1,500 km (900 miles) north of Moscow and one of the main shipyards used by Russia's northern fleet.

The rubber covering of the submarine then caught fire, sending flames and black smoke 10 metres (30 feet) above the stricken vessel. Firemen battled the blaze for a day and a night before partially sinking the submarine to douse the flames, according to media reports.

Vlast reported that immediately after the fire the Yekaterinburg sailed to the navy's weapons store, an unusual trip for a damaged submarine supposedly carrying no weapons and casting doubt on assurances that it was not armed.

"K-84 was in dock with rockets and torpedoes on board," the magazine said, adding that apart from the nuclear weapons the submarine was carrying torpedoes and mines as well as its two nuclear reactors.

The magazine said that if one of the torpedoes had exploded it could have threatened the nuclear missiles, leading to an extremely dangerous nuclear accident.

Media reports of what happened at the time of the fire were contradictory and foreign journalists were unable to gain access to the high security zone.

Russia's worst post-Soviet submarine disaster was in August 2000 when the nuclear submarine Kursk sank in the Barents Sea killing all 118 crewmen aboard.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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I read a book, the name of which is escaping me, about the shoddy quality of Russian submarines in general and the many horrendous and near-miss nuclear accidents during the cold war period to current.

I think I own the book, so I'll check my bookshelf to get the name, but let's just say it's pretty horrific. The author, a former US Submariner, paints a grim picture regarding the quality of nuclear safeguards/engineering on their subs.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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You would like to think that it is against protocol, and common sense, to keep a fully armed sub in dry dock. Idiots.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
You would like to think that it is against protocol, and common sense, to keep a fully armed sub in dry dock. Idiots.
Yeah, that doesn't make a lot of sense.

So, they fought the fire for 24 hours before they decided to finally dunk the sub, it says. If there had been nukes on board, wouldn't someone have recommended a little faster effort on the ol' put out the fire deal there?

My skepticism socks are starting to lose their elasticity.

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Old 02-15-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
You would like to think that it is against protocol, and common sense, to keep a fully armed sub in dry dock. Idiots.

PRobably was, but the post-Soviet USSR had money to adequately handle alot of things, including proper disposal of nuclear weapons. I seem to remember that we gave them a shit-ton of money to help with that kind of stuff because we were concerned about them selling nuclear weapons to countries that could afford them, and because we did want them properly disposed of.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
You would like to think that it is against protocol, and common sense, to keep a fully armed sub in dry dock. Idiots.
I don't believe she was in dry dock.
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