Russian Nuclear Sub
February 15, 2012 by staff
Russian Nuclear Sub, Russia avoided a major disaster in December when a nuclear powered submarine carrying atomic weapons caught fire and engulfed the entire vessel, a top Russian magazine reported.
At the time of the incident, Russian officials assured the world that the submarine, the Yekaterinburg, was devoid of nuclear weapons. Officials said they have been offloaded well before the fire and that there was no risk of a radiation leak.
But the respected Vlast weekly magazine, quoting Russian naval sources, said the sub was carrying 16 R-29 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each armed with four nuclear warheads, throughout the Dec. 29 blaze.
“Russia, for a day, was on the brink of the biggest catastrophe since the time of Chernobyl,” the magazine reported, referencing the 1986 atomic disaster that is considered the world’s worse such accident on record.
Reuters reported that Russian military and government officials have yet to comment on the report.
According to the magazine, the submarine was carrying both torpedoes and nuclear missiles at the time.
The sub caught fire when sparks from a welding torch ignited wooden scaffolding that in turn set outer rubber shell ablaze as the Yekaterinburg was moored at the Roslyakovo docks, 900 miles north of Moscow and one of the main shipyards used by Russia’s northern fleet, said Reuters.
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