Aftermath of diesel fuel spill in Siberia

Via EPA-EFE/ROSCOSMOS PRESS SERVICE / HO

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A handout photo made available by the press service of the Russian State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS on 05 June 2020 shows the view from space of the site of the oil products spill at the Ambarnaya river outside the Russian city of Norilsk, taken on 04 June 2020 with a Russian Resurs-P series Earth observation satellite.

 

About 20,000 tonnes of oil products leaked 29 May 2020 and soiled the waters of Ambarnaya and Daldykan rivers after an accident at a heat and power station operated by Nornickel’s subsidiary Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company or NTEK in industrial city of Norilsk located above the Arctic Circle, reports state.

-A Russian safety watchdog warned a subsidiary of mining giant Norilsk Nickel in 2017-2018 about dozens of violations at a fuel site in the Arctic where a huge leak of diesel fuel occurred last week, the RBC media portal reported on Friday.

Greenpeace has compared the scale of the accident, which saw 15,000 tonnes of fuel spill into rivers and 6,000 tonnes into subsoil near the remote northern Russian city of Norilsk, to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency in the region and upbraided a senior official on television over what he said was a bungled state response.

Norilsk Nickel, whose share price has been hit by the incident, has said melting permafrost driven by climate change may have eroded the foundations of a fuel tank at a power station in Norilsk, causing it to lose pressure and spill out the diesel fuel.

Environmental scientists have warned for years that climate change causing the Arctic to warm faster than other areas of the world poses a threat to infrastructure built on permafrost.

 

Via Reuters/ EPA-EFE/ROSCOSMOS PRESS SERVICE / HO

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