MAC: Mines and Communities

New Norilsk accident compounds Russian disaster

Published by MAC on 2020-07-16

For previous report, see: Russian spill may impact Arctic ocean.

Nornickel reports another fuel spill in the Arctic

Valentina Ruiz Leotaud

12 July 2020

[In May] Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel reported that a pipeline
belonging to Norilsktransgaz, which is part of the Norilsk Nickel Group,
depressurized during the transfer of aviation fuel in the vicinity of
​​the village of Tukhard, located on the Gydanskii tundra.

In a media statement, the company said that [a new] spill poses no
threats to the health of people living in the area and that crews are
already taking measures to recover the spilt fuel. Emergency services are
also at the scene.

According to Nornickel, the leak happened at about 11:15 am on Sunday,
July 12, 2020. Preliminary data revealed that close to 44.5 tonnes of fuel
were spilled during the depressurization, which lasted for about 15

The miner said that Norilsktransgaz is conducting an internal
investigation on the incident and has already submitted some information
to Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry.

This is the second fuel spill that Nornickel reports in the Arctic in less
than two months. The previous one took place in late May at Nornickel’s
Heat and Power Plant â„– 3 near Norilsk, in north-central Russia. The
accident happened when the plant’s reservoir cracked and released 20,000
tonnes of diesel into the nearby areas, contaminating land and rivers that
drain into a lake linked to the Kara Sea.

Russia’s environmental watchdog demanded over $2 billion in damages for
the May spill, while the company had said that clean-up costs would add up
to $150 million.

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