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New spill of 45 tons of jet fuel pollutes tundra in Taymyr

By The Siberian Times reporter
13 July 2020

State of emergency declared as second ecological nightmare hits in less than two months.

Initial reports said the leak was 20 tons but later this was revised up to almost 45 tons. Picture: StrelkaKrsk

Worrying pictures show the latest leak of toxic fuel into the Arctic waterways in the northern Taymyr peninsula.

The fuel has spread into two bodies of water which ultimately flow into the Yenisei River. 

It burst from a pipeline on 12 July operated by Norilsktransgas, a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, close to the village of Tukhard.

Initial reports said the leak was 20 tons but later this was revised up to almost 45 tons. 

Worrying pictures show the latest leak of toxic fuel into the Arctic waterways in the northern Taymyr peninsula
Representatives of the Ministry of Ecology and Environmental Management of Krasnoyarsk region and FSB security service specialists were working at the scene. Pictures: StrelkaKrsk, Daily Storm, The Siberian Times


A source told TASS that the spill had been contained. 

‘In order to prevent the fuel from spreading into the Bolshaya Kheta River, seven lines of containment booms have been set up,’ an official said.

‘Fuel-contaminated soil has been treated with 750 kilograms of sorbent.’

Some 53 specialists were working at the site to eliminate the pollution with the area in a state of emergency. 

Rescuers from Norilsk Nickel State Medical University and 15 specialists of the Murmansk rescue squad travelled to Tukhard, according to reports.

Representatives of the Ministry of Ecology and Environmental Management of Krasnoyarsk region and FSB security service specialists were working at the scene. 

The latest leakage follows the May spill of 21,000 tons of diesel fuel,  much of it into waterways flowing into the Kara Sea. 

Worrying pictures show the latest leak of toxic fuel into the Arctic waterways in the northern Taymyr peninsula


Worrying pictures show the latest leak of toxic fuel into the Arctic waterways in the northern Taymyr peninsula


Worrying pictures show the latest leak of toxic fuel into the Arctic waterways in the northern Taymyr peninsula
‘According to the preliminary data, as a result of the depressurisation, which lasted about 15 minutes, there was a spill of up to 44.5 tons of fuel.’ Pictures: KrskMan, StrelkaKrsk


Norilsk Nickel - which controlled a reservoir that leaked due to permafrost thaw - has disputed claims by ecologists that the diesel has reached the sea.

Russian Nature Protection Agency Rosprirodnadzor in early July quantified the  environmental damage at around $2 billion. 

On the latest leak, Norilsk Nickel said: ‘A pipeline owned by Norilsktransgaz was depressurised while pumping aviation fuel in the area of Tukhard settlement.

‘According to the preliminary data, as a result of the depressurisation, which lasted about 15 minutes, there was a spill of up to 44.5 tons of fuel.’

Tukhard is around 100 kilometres from Norilsk, and some 70 km from the Arctic port of Dudinka.

Comments (1)

I feel your pain. You guys need to pressure your government to act or elect a new one who will make the environment their priority.
Erik Bosma, Canada
27/07/2020 06:42
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