NEWS ABOUT THE SUNKEN NUCLEAR POWERED KURSK SUBMARINE

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Kommersant, June 28, 2001, p. 3

An international group of deep divers started the next stage in preparation for raising the sunken nuclear powered Kursk submarine in Severomorsk.

The Northern fleet, in its turn, began preparing war ships and subsidiary ships for the operation in the Barents Sea, thus forming a special expedition structure. The divers – five Russians and five Dutchmen, representing the Mammoet company – arrived in the Northern fleet capital from Petersburg to specify some details of the operation. The reason for such a long flight was to use a submarine of the same type as Kursk for the training. The divers exercised in the nuclear-powered Orel submarine, where they already had trained in October of last year, before the operation to raise the submariners’ bodies. The divers’ aim is to check the CCB Rubin calculations and make moulds for making technological holes in the Kursk frame. They are made so that during the operation of special emergency cohesion, onto which steel ropes from the sea level are to be fixed, will be accessible. Yesterday all the divers started this work. The main group of the Russian submariners, 20 in number, who have already finished a complex set of exercise in St. Petersburg, are expected to fly to the Scottish port Aberdeen very soon. There the Russians will get acquainted with the equipment of the diver vessel Mayo. According to the clipping service of the Northern Fleet, it is this vessel that will become the chief base for the Russian and foreign divers and submarines.

By prior arrangement, Mayo is to come in the Barents Sea in mid July. Similarly, the Northern Fleet is also preparing for the operation in the Barents Sea, which first of all, concerns a special expedition, and comprises two missile cruisers Peter the Great and Marshal Ustinov, large anti-submarine ships Admiral Kharlamov and Severomorsk, rescue vessels Mikhail Rudnitsky, Altai and Pamir, as well as four underwater vehicles, tankers, fire-boats and hospital vessels, plus five helicopters and two transport aircrafts. A part of the ships and vessels of the expedition, headed by the commander of the Northern Fleet Vice-Admiral Mikhail Motsak, are now being repaired at the local dockyard. The command post of the expedition will be placed on one of the anti-submarine ships. The mobile headquarters will work out instructions to collaborate the Russian side with the foreign ships. The mobile headquarters will comprise the Northern Fleet specialists, representatives of the CCB Rubin and defense industry plants, as well as a group of the government commission that is in charge of investigating the reasons behind the Kursk catastrophe.

Another object in the preparations is N 82 dock in the Roslyakovo village (Murmansk region), whose dockyard will receive the Kursk submarine after the operation. According to unofficial sources, the dock got around 35 million rubles for the preliminary measures. The plant began repairing the local railways and workshops, which will be used in the process of investigating the submarine frame. The workers are making special containers to gather waste products. They are also repairing the outer lighting of the plant. According to the plan, the dock will resort to extreme nuclear security measures, For instance, modern survey meters, overalls and chemical decontaminant will be purchased with the received money. In the village a special control indicator board will be put up, which will show the radiation rate in the plant 24 hours a day.

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