Oil Spill In Arctic River In Russia Could Take Decades To Recover From

On May 29, A fuel tank at a thermal power station near the industrial city of Norilsk, Russia lost pressure and leaked out fuel and lubricants.

One of the largest oil spills in Russian history, it released over 21,000 tons of diesel into the Arctic Ocean.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency in the region.

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Oil Spill In Arctic River In Russia Could Take Decades To Recover From

Dmitry Klokov, a spokesman for the Rosrybolovstvo state fishing agency, said –

“It can already be said now that it will take decades for the restoration of the ecological balance of the affected Norilo-Pyasinsky water system.”

Most of the diesel ended up in the Ambarnaya River, which is being called an ecological catastrophe.

Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization, believes that damage to water bodies alone from a diesel spill in Norilsk could amount to more than $85 million.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced via Twitter that the US was willing to help Russia –

“Saddened to hear about the fuel spill in Norilsk, Russia.”

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He added –

“Despite our disagreements, the United States stands ready to assist Russia to mitigate this environmental disaster and offer our technical expertise.”

Norilsk Nickel, the company that owns the power plant, announced that it had brought in specialists from Moscow to help with the spill. The specialists had made the decision to section off the affected part of the river to stop the oil products spreading further.

Oil Spill In Arctic River In Russia Could Take Decades To Recover From

Initial reports suggest that melting permafrost as a result of climate change was the reason behind the leak.

The company also hinted at the same in their statement –

“The accident was caused by a sudden sinking of supporting posts in the basement of the storage tank.”

Minister of Emergency Situations Yevgeny Zinichev informed President Putin that the Norilsk plant had spent two days trying to contain the spill before alerting the authorities.

The Investigative Committee of Russia has opened a criminal case of negligence due to untimely reporting of an accident near Norilsk.

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