Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 25, 2001, p. 2
At a news conference called to discuss environmental safety issues involved in the Kursk salvage operation, Nikolai Ponomarev-Stepnoi of the Kurchatov Institute and Alexander Kiriushin, chief engineer at the Afrikantov OKBM, said the submarine’s deactivated nuclear reactor would not pose any safety risk during the salvage operation. There might just be a slight increase in background radiation when silt on the seabed is disturbed. Even the possibility of the remaining missiles exploding has been taken into account. According to the researchers, “the reactor is emitting no more heat than an ordinary kettle”.