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Recently a river within the Arctic Circle has been tainted with the color of blood as it has been contaminated with a large amount of diesel. This spill is a disaster and is something we all need to be aware of. 

This oil spill is said to have begun on the 19th of May due to some kind of industrial accident at a plant that is owned by a division of Nornickel. These contaminants made their way into this river at what you should consider an alarming rate as there are at least 20,000 tons flowing through the waters now. While cleanup operations are underway and making progress, this is not going to be an easy feat by any means. wrote as follows covering this accident and the contamination issue at hand:

The accident at TPP-3 of Norilsk occurred on May 29. During the depressurization of the tank with diesel fuel, about 20 thousand tons of oil products spilled. Subdivisions of the Polar Division of Norilsk Nickel and the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company (NTEK JSC, part of the Norilsk Nickel group) immediately began to eliminate the consequences of the emergency. By the morning of the next day, more than 800 tons of oil products were collected in the adjacent territory, the surface was treated with sorbents. However, part of the spilled fuel fell into the Daldykan and Barn rivers. For the non-proliferation of petroleum products down the river and into other bodies of water, boom barriers were deployed. Further pollution of the water artery of the region was prevented.

To eliminate the consequences of the accident on the water and coastal surfaces, specialists from the marine rescue service were quickly involved, who already began work on June 1. All the work on the expeditious transfer of cargo and people to the scene of the disaster was undertaken by the Norilsk Nickel company, which took only 12 hours.

Given the scale of the accident and the complexity of the upcoming work, the leadership of the Marine Rescue Service sent sixteen rescuers from the Northern and Baltic branches to assist the local rescue forces. The Maritime Service specialists brought with them the most advanced equipment capable of coping with the consequences of an accident of this magnitude as soon as possible. These are oil gathering systems, booms, tanks for collecting oil-water mixture from the surface of the water, devices for spraying sorbents, etc.

While it has been said that this fuel contamination did not likely reach the Kara Sea, lab testing has not come back yet to completely verify that. Amidst the cleanup efforts, it should also be noted that several protective lines of oil spill booms have been installed as well. This in the hopes of preventing further spread of this fuel contamination. With almost 300 people working on site to combat this issue, we do hope it gets under control within a reasonable amount of time. The Russian News Agency wrote as follows on the topic just earlier today (June 4th, 2020):

More than 21,000 cubic meters of fuel were spilled on the area of 180,000 square meters on May 29 on the territory of the combined heat and power plant CHPP-3 in Norilsk, Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region. The leak had been caused by an accidental damage to a diesel fuel storage tank. The fuel was spilled into the soil and water in the area. A federal emergency was declared in the region. Rescuers have removed more than 100 tonnes of fuel after a spill in the Russian Siberian city of Norilsk, the Maritime Rescue Service’s press service said earlier.

TASS also reported that there have been roughly 25 samples selected currently and that the ‘maximum permissible levels are exceeded in water areas by tens of thousands.’ This fuel tank lean at the Thermal Power Plant has caused a lot of outrage and we do not yet know what all will come of it. It should also be noted that criminal cases have been opened in regard and charges depending on how things play out may end up being pressed. According to Business Insider officials were not even made aware of this issue until two days after the incident initially occurred which is quite mind-blowing for a number of reasons.

This spill could cause drastic damage to the affected environment for years to come according to TASS and that in itself is to me an understatement. While we do not know much about the things to come on this topic just yet, we hope to know more as time progresses. Cleanup efforts being underway is a big step towards getting things done but at the end of the day getting all of it up is not necessarily possible. To learn more on this topic take a peek at the video below.