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RF-Norway expedition to check radiation in Novaya Zemlya area

August 21, 2012, 5:26 UTC+3

Sea environment samples will be taken, spectrometric measurements will be made

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ARKHANGELSK, August 21 (Itar-Tass) — Joint Russian-Norwegian expedition on Tuesday will leave from Arkhangelsk on board the Ivan Petrov research vessel of the Sevgidromet (Northern hydrometeorological service) to survey the areas of dumping radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in the Kara Sea near the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

The Sevgidromet press service told Itar-Tass that Russia and Norway in 1992-1994 for the first time conducted major offshore field studies in the areas of dumping of radiation-hazardous objects - containers with radioactive waste in the Kara Sea. “The obtained results confirmed that the dumped objects did not pose serious danger to the environment,” the agency’s press-service said.

In 2010, within the framework of the bilateral working group to study the pollution of the northern territories, led by Rosgidromet and the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, it was decided to resume such expeditions. The new data will help determine the current radiation situation in the areas of dumping of dangerous objects, as well as will make it possible to judge on the dynamics of the situation change since the 1990s.

The first phase of the new research is planned for this year from the Ivan Petrov ship. It is planned to study the radiation situation in the Novaya Zemlya area in the waters of the Stepovoy and Litke Bays, as well as in the adjacent waters of the Kara Sea. Sea environment samples will be taken, spectrometric measurements will be made, as well as the most important submerged objects will be examined with the use of a remotely operated underwater vehicle.

Taking part in the expedition will be 16 researchers from the Norwegian and Russian scientific organisations, as well as from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Norwegian scientists will join the expedition in Kirkenes. The Ivan Petrov ship is planned to return to the port of Arkhangelsk on September 23.

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