EXPERTS have warned of a “slo-mo Chernobyl” disaster forming in icy waters north of Russia as dozens of nuclear submarines rot deep below the surface.
In the Kara and Barents Sea, thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste equivalent to 6.5 Hiroshimas lie in a frigid underwater graveyard, slowly leaking radiation.
The waste has been pumping out radioactivity which could infect seafood and contaminatefields – making the region a ticking time bomb.
Finland’s former Minister of Foreign Trade and European Affairs, Jari Vilén, said: “It’s a horrible, horrible legacy of the Soviet Union that’s been left at the bottom of the ocean.”
Over 17,000 objects are scattered on the sea bed, with 18 nuclear reactors and and sunken nuclear submarines.
The waste from one submarine, the Kosmomolets, is 1million times higher than normal.
And some of the nuclear waste lies at a depth of only 98feet, putting the Russian produced radiation even closer to the humans.
The old reactors are full of uranium and experts say they will eventually begin leaking mass amounts of radioactive material.
Many are worried the more highly concentrated nuclear rods on some submarines may implode underwater, leading to a Hiroshima-esque event.
Thomas Nilsen, the editor of The Barents Observer, told Outrider: “We can’t let those reactors just sit there. We know sooner of later radionuclides will leak out.
“The threat remains of a Chernobyl in slow motion.”
A 1993 report ordered by former president Boris Yeltsin said the situation was “critical”.
Despite past reports and admission of dumping some nuclear waste in the sea,has continued to deny that it dumped “high level radioactive waste” into the oceans, which violates the 1983 London Dumping Convention, which the Soviet Union agreed to follow.
Experts have warned the Kara Sea is on the cusp of a “uncontrolled nuclear event” as many of the discarded reactors still have radioactive fuel rods inside of them.
One submarine, the K-159, lies with its fulled and unsealed reactors open to the elements, spreading nuclear radioactivity through the waters.
Russia has announced a new initiative to rescue the radioactive items from the sea floor, to prevent an “underwater Chernobyl”, but it will take decades.
also began a project involving Norway, , the EU, US, UK and to safely raise the most dangerous objects back to the surface.
The project is estimated to cost an astounding £241million to hoist up the nuclear items alone.
But the war inhas stopped the initiative, and left the Russian-Norweigan Nuclear Safety Commission, leaving other countries in the dark about the radioactive waste in their seas.
Russia also has a secret “nuclear city”, dubbed the “graveyard of the earth” with a contaminated “lake of death.”
Ozersk has a population of around 82,000 people and Vladimir Putin would probably prefer you didn’t know it exists.
The city is almost completely cut off from the outside world, and is the birthplace of the Soviet Union’s nuclear programme.
Residents need special visas to leave. foreigners are not allowed in, and barbed wire fences surround the borders as signs read “not trespassing”.