Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Small nuclear reactor blew up in deadly accident

Russia says small nuclear reactor blew up in deadly accident,  The Age, By Jake Rudnitsky and Stepan Kravchenko

August 13, 2019  The failed missile test that ended in an explosion killing five scientists last week on Russia’s White Sea involved a small nuclear reactor, according to a top official at the institute where they worked.
The institute is working on small-scale power sources that use “radioactive materials, including fissile and radioisotope materials” for the Defence Ministry and civilian uses, Vyacheslav Soloviev, scientific director of the institute, said in a video shown by local TV.
The men, who will be buried on Monday, were national heroes and the “elite of the Russian Federal Nuclear Centre,” institute Director Valentin Kostyukov said in the video, which was also posted on an official website in Sarov, a high-security city devoted to nuclear research less than 400 kilometers east of Moscow.
The blast occurred on August 8 during a test of a missile that used “isotope power sources” on an offshore platform in the Arkhangelsk region, close to the Arctic Circle, Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom said over the weekend. The Defence Ministry initially reported two were killed in the accident, which it said involved testing of a liquid-fuelled missile engine. The ministry didn’t mention the nuclear element.
Rosatom declined to comment on the incident on Monday and a spokeswoman for the Sarov institute couldn’t immediately be reached.
Russian media have speculated that the weapon being tested was the SSC-X-9 Skyfall, known in Russia as the Burevestnik, a nuclear-powered cruise missile that President Vladimir Putin introduced to the world in a brief animated segment during his state-of-the-nation address last year.
The incident comes after a series of massive explosions earlier last week at a Siberian military depot killed one and injured 13, as well as forcing the evacuation of 16,500 people from their homes. Russia’s navy has suffered numerous high-profile accidents over the years. In July, 14 sailors died in a fire aboard a nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea in an incident on which officials initially refused to comment. A top naval official later said the men gave their lives  preventing a “planetary catastrophe.”
Russia’s worst post-Soviet naval disaster also occurred in the Barents Sea, when 118 crew died on the Kursk nuclear submarine that sank in after an explosion in August 2000. https://www.theage.com.au/world/asia/russia-says-small-nuclear-reactor-blew-up-in-deadly-accident-20190813-p52gfm.html

August 13, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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