Energy and Environment

Main results of the 2012 joint Norwegian–Russian expedition to the dumping sites of the nuclear submarine K-27 and solid radioactive waste in Stepovogo Fjord, Novaya Zemlya

Gwynn, J.P. , Nikitin, A. , Shershakov, V. , Heldal, H.E. , Lind, B. , Teien, H.-C. , Lind, O.C. , Sidhu, R.S. , Bakke, G. , Kazennov, A. , Grishin, D. , Fedorova, A. , Blinova, O. , Sværen, I. , Liebig, P.L. , Salbu, B. , Wendell, C.C. , Strålberg, E. , Valetova, N. , Petrenko, G. , Katrich, I. , Logoyda, I. , Osvath, I. , Levy, I. , Bartocci, J. , Pham, M.K. , Sam, A. , Nies, H. , Rudjord, A.L.
Journal of environmental radioactivity, Vol. 151, Part 2 (January 2016), 417–426. Available online 21 February 2015.
Publ. year
2015
Publ. type
article
Abstract
This paper reports the main results of the 2012 joint Norwegian–Russian expedition to investigate the radioecological situation of the Stepovogo Fjord on the eastern coast of Novaya Zemlya, where the nuclear submarine K-27 and solid radioactive waste was dumped. Based on in situ gamma measurements and the analysis of seawater and sediment samples taken around the submarine, there was no indication of any leakage from the reactor units of K-27. With regard to the radioecological status of Stepovogo Fjord, activity concentrations of all radionuclides in seawater, sediment and biota in 2012 were in general lower than reported from the previous investigations in the 1990s. However in 2012, the activity concentrations of 137Cs and, to a lesser extent, those of 90Sr remained elevated in bottom water from the inner part of Stepovogo Fjord compared with surface water and the outer part of Stepovogo Fjord. Deviations from expected 238Pu/239,240Pu activity ratios and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios in some sediment samples from the inner part of Stepovogo Fjord observed in this study and earlier studies may indicate the possibility of leakages from dumped waste from different nuclear sources. Although the current environmental levels of radionuclides in Stepovogo Fjord are not of immediate cause for concern, further monitoring of the situation is warranted.
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