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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Leaks Plugged On Nuclear Submarine

Russia said Tuesday it had sealed off a sunken nuclear submarine off Norway to prevent radioactive leaks.


The Komsomolets sank in the Norwegian Sea in 1989 with the loss of 42 lives and is now embedded in mud 1,685 meters below the surface.


Tengiz Borisov, head of the Russian government committee on special underwater work at the site, said last year the submarine contained enough radioactive waste to kill fishing in the Norwegian Sea for 600-700 years if it leaked out.


State Emergencies Ministry officials said the submarine's two nuclear-armed torpedo launchers had been covered in a special substance which would absorb any radiation leak and that protective shields had been installed to limit pollution leaks.


Explosions and fire aboard the Komsomolets blew a 20-square-meter hole in its torpedo room.


Experts have warned that plutonium from two torpedoes may start leaking within two years. The submarine is estimated to contain about 10 to 12 kilograms of deadly plutonium.