Tuesday, June 5, 2007


A nuclear waste dump in the Russian Arctic may be in danger of exploding because of corrosion caused by salt water in enormous storage tanks, a Norwegian environmental group warned Friday.

The three tanks are used to store spent nuclear fuel rods at Andreeva Bay, on the Kola Peninsula of northwestern Russia, just 28 miles from the Norwegian border, the Oslo-based Bellona said in a statement.

"We discover now that we are sitting on a powder keg, with a fuse that is burning, but we don't know how long that fuse is," said Alexander Nikitin, a former Russian navy officer who is now one of Bellona's nuclear experts.

The group cited a report from Rosatom, the Russian nuclear authority, describing the danger. Bellona said the storage tanks were long believed to be dry inside, but that recent studies show corrosive salt water is inside the tanks.

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