Still 114-thousand rusting barrels left on island in Arctic Russia

Two-thousand tons of scrap metal are expected to be removed from Kotelny Island in the Russian Arctic this summer. (Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
Two-thousand tons of scrap metal are expected to be removed from Kotelny Island in the Russian Arctic this summer. (Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
There is still a way to go before the island of Kotelny is rid of its dirty Soviet past.

According to representatives of the Northern Fleet, about 6,000 barrels have been removed from the island this year. That leaves 114,000 left, the Navy news service informs

Over the last weeks, 30 Navy personnel have used an hydraulic instrument to compress the barrels and place them into containers destined for waste deposit sites on the mainland.

As previously reported, the clean-up personnel arrived on site in late May and will in the course of summer remove about 2000 tons of scrap metal from the island.

Navy investing in northern infrastructure

Last year, a total of about 20,000 barrels were compressed and transported from the island. By the end of the year, an estimated 120,000 barrels were left.

The situation is similar on several of the other Russian Arctic archipelagos.

The clean-up comes at the same time as the Navy invests heavily in the upgrade of the bases. At Kotelny, the local Temp air field is getting a major upgrade and the new Severny Klever housing and training complex is under construction. The complex will be able to house 250 people, among them both military personell and service staff. A total of 640 workers have over the last year been involved in the construction operations.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  “Dumpcano” costs mounting in Canada’s eastern Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland:  Most luxury cruise liners still dumping sewage in Baltic Sea, Yle News

Greenland: Study finds increase in litter on Arctic seafloor, Blog by Mia Bennett

Norway: Norway is polluting Murmansk says Russian official, Barents Observer

Russia: Russia cleaning up scrap metal on Arctic coast, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish exhibit explores Baltic Sea pollution, Radio Sweden

United States: Cleanup completed on 6 Arctic legacy wells in Alaska, Alaska Dispatch

 

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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