Russia Declares State Of Emergency After Power Plant Spills 20,000 Tons Of Fuel Into The Arctic River

Photo By: Greenpeace Russia

Russia’s President, Vladimir V. Putin, has just declared a state of emergency after more than 20,000 tons of diesel fuel leaked into a river in the Arctic Circle in northern Siberia.

The diesel fuel spill took place on May 28th, in Norilsk, which came from the power plant TPP №3, which belongs to a company affiliated with Nornickel. The incident was caused by the disruption of the reservoir with diesel fuel, which they store for powering TPP № 3 in case of gas-supply interruptions.

The fuel leak is said to be one of the largest in Russia’s modern day history, said Aleksei Knizhnikov of the environmentalist group WWF Russia. Greenpeace Russia has compared the disastrous oil spill to the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska in 1989.

“It is urgent that we need to stop spreading this poisonous slick along the Northern waterway. It is necessary to find the solution of supporting measures for indigenous peoples who manage and develop their traditional territories and resources of their motherland,” said Sergey Verkhovets, coordinator of Arctic projects for WWF-Russia in a statement.

Some sources claim that the massive clean-up could cost up to 100bn roubles ($1.5bn) and take between five to 10 years. 

Thanks to the well-coordinated and immediate efforts of all of the participants involved in the clean-up near Norilsk, oil booms have now been installed by the Federal Marine Rescue Service before the spill reaches Lake Pyasino. Although the successful containment doesn’t mean that toxic elements haven’t seeped into the lake water.

Photo From: Greenpeace Russia

The Russian Investigative Committee (SK) has launched an investigation into the pollution and alleged negligence, after President Putin expressed outrage over discovering that government agencies found out about the spill days after it occurred. The Committee also detained the plant’s manager, Vyacheslav Starostin.

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