Oil spill in Russia’s Arctic region-THE HINDU-05-06-2020
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a state of emergency and criticised a subsidiary of metals giant Norilsk Nickel after a massive diesel spill into a Siberian river. A fuel reservoir collapsed at a power plant near the city of Norilsk, located above the Arctic Circle, and leaked into a nearby river. During a televised video conference, Putin lambasted the head of the Norilsk Nickel subsidiary that runs the power plant, NTEK, after officials said it failed to report the incident.
Why did government agencies only find out about this two days after the fact? Are we going to learn about emergency situations from social media? Are you quite healthy there?" Putin asked NTEK chief Sergei Lipin in an unusually stern dressing-down.
Norilsk Nickel said in a statement that NTEK had reported what happened in a "timely and proper" way. Putin said he agreed that a national state of emergency was needed to call in more resources for the cleanup effort. It released video footage shot on a mobile phone that appears to show fuel cascading down from the reservoir and under a fence.
Troops could help clean-up:
"The Ambarnaya river, which bore the brunt of the spill, will be difficult to clean up because it is too shallow to use barges and the remote location has no roads, officials told Putin. " Norilsk Nickel said the fuel tank was damaged when supporting pillars that had "held it in place for 30 years without difficulty" began to sink.
Norilsk is constructed on permafrost and its infrastructure is threatened by melting ice caused by climate change. In 2016, it admitted pollutants from a "filtration dam" at its plant washed into another local river, colouring it bright red.