NTV Television, February 8, 2001
Nikolai Ponomarev-Stepnoi, member of the Academy of Sciences and Vice-President of the Kurchatov Institute, announced that the institute’s employees have diligently studied the nuclear reactors of the Kursk submarine and are convinced of their safety. According to Ponomarev-Stepnoi, the scientists studied videotapes made by divers working on the Kursk. These tapes gave them absolute certainty that the submarine’s reactors “have been turned off completely and there are no radioactive leaks.” “I have no doubts that both reactors on the Kursk are harmless,” said the scientist. He added: “At least we do not need to worry about accidents before summer 2001, when efforts will begin to lift the submarine. At that point we will reevaluate the situation.” He announced that at this point the institute is not observing the reactors, since there are no grounds for worry and the Navy regularly measures radiation levels in the area.