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