Transportation of Kursk nuclear submarine to Nerpa shipyard starts

The first stage of an operation to transport the Kursk nuclear submarine from Roslyakovo shipyard (outside Murmansk, the Kola peninsula) to the Nerpa shipyard was launched in the early hours of Thursday. This information was disclosed by the press service of the Russian Northern Fleet. The operation started from submerging the PD-50 floating dock where the pressurised Kursk is currently installed. Shipyard experts are carrying out a continuous monitoring of the submarine in order to detect and repair possible leaks. Terms of the first stage depend on the quality of covers on technological holes which had been made during the salvage operation. Following the completion of the submerging procedure, the Kursk will be linked with pontoons which will ensure its stability. Then, the submarine with pontoons will be installed in the currently submerged Pallada floating dock. When this procedure is completed, the dock will emerge and set out for the Nerpa shipyard via the Kola bay. This operation is expected to start on Thursday evening or Friday morning. It will take the Pallada no less than 11 hours to cross the Kola bay - the very period the empty Pallada needed to reach Roslyakovo. The final stage of the operation is the installation of the dock in the Nerpa shipyard. Experts believe that the whole operation will take approximately 60 hours. Nerpa experts will unload nuclear fuel from the sub's reactors and take out Granit-class cruise missiles, which are still in the Kursk's damaged silos. The submarine's hull will be subsequently scrapped.

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