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Nornickel decommissions 50 buildings in Norilsk due to permafrost thawing

The company has drilled 500 wells to monitor the permafrost temperatures

TASS, June 30. The Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) decommissioned 50 buildings in Norilsk (the Krasnoyarsk Region’s north) due to the thawing permafrost, the company’s Senior Vice President Sergey Stepanov said presenting results of Nornickel’s sustainable development in 2021.

Earlier, the company announced it would invest 12.4 billion rubles ($235 million) to 2026 in the geo-technical monitoring system in the Norilsk Industrial District.

"As for the permafrost, we have decommissioned about 50 buildings (in Norilsk) due to the subsiding. This does not mean a building is leaning," he said. "We have drilled a well, and we are measuring the temperature under the ground. If the temperature is rising - it is an alarm."

The company has drilled 500 wells to monitor the permafrost temperatures, he added.

Even if the temperature is not rising, the company’s engineers continue additional surveys, he continued, stressing Nornickel had organized a special geo-technical monitoring dispatch center in Norilsk.

In May 2020, a fuel tank at the Norilsk power plant failed releasing 21,000 tonnes of petroleum products. One of the versions says the accident had been caused by the global climate changes and higher soil temperatures.

The Krasnoyarsk Region’s arbitration satisfied partially Rosprirodnadzor’s claim against the tank owner for recovery of more than 148 billion rubles ($2.8 billion) of the environmental damage. The court ruled that the penalty is cut to 146 billion rubles ($2.7 billion). Norilsk Nickel has settled the penalty in full.