The Russian Emergency Department announced on Friday that progress with the 20,000 tonnes of oil flowing from a thermal power plant spilled into a river in the Russian Arctic has been “halted”. Vladimir Putin has pointed the finger at the lack of responsiveness to the company’s president.
“The development of hydrocarbons has been stopped. They are no longer going anywhere” thanks to the deployment of a floating containment pond, a representative of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations in the Krasnoyarsk region told AFP on Friday, June 5, adding that the pumping of fuel had begun.
Spent from a thermal power plant, 20,000 tonnes of oil was spilled in a river in the Russian Arctic last week.
“Efforts are being made to eliminate pollution,” the ministry continued. However, the latter could not say whether the progress of fuel was stopped on the Ambarnaïa River or on Lake Piassino, which would be much more serious as its water flows into the river of the same name, very important to the region.
Emergency declared in Russia after “red water” of fuel in the Arctic
Rescue, at work to try to limit the damage
One of the diesel tanks in a thermal power plant belonging to a subsidiary of the mining giant Norilsk Nickel collapsed last week, causing a leak of 20,000 tonnes of oil.
According to ecological organizations, this pollution is considered to be the worst ecological accident due to hydrocarbons in the region. Since then, rescue workers have worked hard to try to limit the damage, in a context complicated by the difficulties with access to the site and the shallow depth of the river, which prevents boat operations.
For their part, Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped up to the plate on Wednesday, declaring an emergency and beating public officials, including the president of the subsidiary Norilsk Nickel, which has been slow to respond. The company denied any failure.
An accident that can be attributed to climate change
On Friday, the emergency minister went to the site to monitor the development of the relief efforts. In a statement, he said “200 tonnes of fuel and lubricant have been collected so far.
According to Norilsk Nickel, the idea was damaged when the pillars embedded in the permafrost that had supported it “for 30 years” began to decline, an accident that could be attributed to the melting of the permafrost due to climate change.
Following the accident, Russia on Friday ordered a review of all risky infrastructure built on the cast iron frost, an effect due to climate change.
“In order not to repeat situations involving risky infrastructure in permafrost areas that are prone to melt, Russia’s prosecutor, Igor Krasnov, (…) ordered in-depth checks on the infrastructure concerned.” , the prosecutor said in a statement.
One of the world’s leading producers of nickel and palladium, Norilsk Nickel is not in its first ecological accident. Already in 2016, one of its factories accidentally spilled chemicals into a river in the northern North, and has already reded it with red.