OREANDA-NEWS. The specialists of Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority together with their colleagues from Russia started an investigation of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-278 “Komsomolets” that sank in the Norwegian Sea in April 1989. They found out that the radiation level in the area of ​​the reactor is 100.000 times higher than normal.

The submarine sunk 30 years ago at a depth of about 1.7 thousand meters, and it makes the work of scientists rather difficult. They use underwater vehicle named Ægir 6000 to reach sunken vessel.

Previous studies made by Russian researchers revealed radiation leaks from the reactor, severe damage of the submarine, and excess of caesium-137 Cs in the bottom sediment.

A new study revealed a radiation level 100.000 times higher than normal in the area of the ventilation pipe of the reactor compartment. However, this does not threats to fisheries in the Norwegian Sea, the scientists say.

The researchers noted that this time they managed to photograph the “unexplainable cloud of dust,” which periodically rises from the ventilation pipe. According to the scientists, this may occur due to radioactivity.

The K-278 which could reach the deepest waters among world’s nuclear submarines, wrecked on April 7, 1989. There was a fire on the vessel, which led to the loss of buoyancy. It sank to the bottom. 42 members of the crew of 69 seamen died.

The Barents Observer news portal reports that the submarine was equipped with two torpedoes with plutonium warheads, each contained about 3 kilograms of plutonium-239.