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April 04, 2014 17:09

Sunken Soviet submarine poses no radiation danger - admiral

ST. PETERSBURG. April 4 (Interfax) - A senior admiral on Friday denied that Soviet nuclear-powered submarine Komsomolets, which sank 25 years ago, killing 42 sailors, poses any radiation danger and said there are no near-term plans to raise it from the Norwegian Sea floor.

"The sub is on the bottom at a depth of one and a half thousand meters. There are no plans so far to raise it. Neither the reactor nor the warheads of the sub pose any threat. There is a special protection system that works regardless of the circumstances," Vice Adm. Viktor Mardusin, deputy commander of Russia's Western Military District, told a news conference at the Interfax office in St. Petersburg.

The chairman of the St. Petersburg Club of Submarine Sailors and Navy Veterans, Igor Kurdin, said numerous expeditions, both Russian and foreign, had visited the site of the Komsomolets.

"There hasn't been a single instance of any [radiation] level being recorded that was above normal. The sub was covered with special material in a special operation to prevent leaks," Kurdin said.

He said the vessel might be raised eventually.

Forty-two people were killed and 27 rescued as the Komsomolets sank on April 7, 1989. Official reports said the cause of the disaster had been alleged fire in the stern compartment as a result of a fault in electric equipment.

The vessel set a submergence submarine depth record - 1,027 meters.

It lies at a depth of 1,600 meters 180 kilometers southwest of Medvezhy Island.

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