Emergency with a Russian nuclear submarine

The details have been kept secret for a month

The details of the accident, which happened with a Russian nuclear submarine, which is currently being repaired in the Murmansk region, have just been unveiled. The accident happened on June 29, 2002 at about 5 a.m., in the town of Polyarny (35 kilometers from Murmansk). The contingency happened during the docking procedure, when the submarine K-104 lied over the port side. The hull of the sub thrust its weight upon the building's berth.

According to eyewitnesses, everything happened in a blink of an eye, but the workers of the factory who were involved in the docking operation managed to leave the dangerous area, and nobody was hurt. The floating dock was slightly damaged because of the fact that the superstructure was cut off` on the sub due to repairs.

Emergency services arrived at the site of the accident; they examined the radioactive situation and the water area of the factory. Everything was normal. The administration of the dock did not make any official statements at that time, having believed that it was simply a small technical accident.

The superstructure was cut off during work to remove the active zone of nuclear reactors in the spring of 2002. There were some 15 tons of combustive and lubricating materials left inside the strong hull of the submarine. The submarine allegedly “fell down” because of a miscalculation of the centers of gravity.

There is nothing dangerous for the floating dock at the moment, as the damaged parts of the hull were sealed in and the hull was propped up with wooden keel-blocks. It is dangerous to repeat the docking operation in such situation, which is why it has been decided to continue the dismantling works according to schedule.

It should be added that this accident was the first of its kind in the history of Russian docking. It has happened before, but only with diesel subs.

Vitaly Bratkov PRAVDA.Ru Murmansk

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov