NORILSK, June 4. /TASS/. The diesel fuel that spilled from a tank at a power plant in the Russian Arctic city of Norilsk did not reach the Kara Sea, the deputy prime minister of the Krasnoyarsk Region government, Anatoly Tsykalov, has told reporters.
The loss of containment of the diesel fuel tank occurred on the territory of the combined heat and power plant CHPP-3 in Norilsk, Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, on May 29. More than 210,000 tonnes of fuel leaked into the environment, polluting soil and water in the area. A federal emergency was declared on the territory of the Krasnoyarsk Region. Three criminal cases were launched on charges of land deterioration, water pollution and violation of environment protection rules.
"I flew around the affected territories twice, jointly with company employees, rescuers and environment protection inspectors. We saw no evidence of oil products spreading outside the oil-spill booms [on the Ambarnaya River]," he said, when asked whether the leaked fuel reached the Kara Sea, a part of the Arctic Ocean.
However, the official said that the definite answer to that question can be given only after lab tests.
At present, a group of Murmansk maritime rescue service is involved in the effort to contain the oil slick on the Ambarnaya River. Several protective lines of oil spill booms have been installed to prevent the fuel from spreading.
According to Sergei Dyachenko, the first vice president of the Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) whose subsidiary Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company (NTEC) owns the plant, more than 80 tonnes of fuel have already been removed from the river surface. Besides, rescuers removed 800 cubic meters of polluted soil and pumped about 262 tonnes of diesel fuel from the site of the accident.
A total of 252 people and 72 vehicles are working on the site, he said.
"The company will attract all the necessary resources to clear the aftermath of the fuel spill incident within a short timeframe," Norilsk Nickel said.