MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will raise a sunken nuclear submarine from the floor of the Barents Sea to clear an Arctic sea lane and busy fishing area, Interfax has reported.
The Russian news agency on Friday quoted an unidentified official at
navy headquarters as saying the sunken sub would be raised in 2005.
Nine sailors died in the sinking of the K-159, a
40-year-old vessel that tipped over as it was being towed to a scrapyard in August 2003.
The accident evoked painful three-year-old memories of the Kursk, a Russian submarine that sank in the Barents Sea after
an onboard torpedo explosion, killing 118 men.
Interfax quoted the official as saying the cost of raising the K-159 could be comparable to the $60 million (34 million
pounds) paid to raise the Kursk.
After the K-159 accident, Norway said it was informed by Russia's Nuclear Ministry that boat had about 800 kg (1,764
pounds) of spent nuclear fuel on board.
Tests on fish from the Barents Sea showed no signs of increased radioactivity immediately after the sinking, the Norwegian
Radiation Protection Authority said.
Interfax quoted the navy official as saying Russia was to conduct more radiation checks next spring and expected to find
no radiation leaks.
January 2, 2004.