10 August 2019 – Nuclear accident in Russia as missile may have exploded during test – radiation casualties. Sparse details, but apparently there has been an incident with nuclear ordnance in Nyonoska, Russia, spiking some meters, and causing some radiation casualties requiring the distribution of iodine. Five have now been reported killed even as the Russian official line was the explosion of a non-nuclear liquid rocket motor. The history of Russian nuclear failures precedes it, as prestige precedes prudence.
Suspicions are growing today that Russia has suffered another nuclear accident after ambulances covered in protective film were seen transporting six people with serious radiation poisoning in a mystery explosion at a military base. Alarming footage also shows men in protective clothing loading casualties into the vehicles in the wake of a blast at the Nyonoksa weapons testing site in the sub-Arctic Arkhangelsk region yesterday.
Earlier the clothes of the victims and the medics who first treated them were destroyed, it was reported, before causalities were transferred for treatment at the Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Centre in Moscow. Moscow has thrown a veil of secrecy over the explosion, which killed two and left six injured on Thursday.
Radiation levels are said to have temporarily soared 20 times above the normal level in Severodvinsk, a city 18 miles away, sparking ‘panic’ and ‘hysteria’ and a rush to buy iodine from pharmacies. The presence of the nuclear fuel carrier ship Serebryanka in the area at the time of the accident also points to Burevestnik. This ship was reportedly part of a flotilla that Russia sent into the Arctic to reportedly recover one or more crashed Burevestniks last year. The vessel, which is configured to safely transport nuclear fuel rods and similar cargo, would be well suited to carrying nuclear-powered cruise missiles. This ship remains inside a portion of the Dvina Bay in the White Sea that the Russian government closed off to all public and commercial activity after the incident.
The Drive – 9 August 2019
Russia’s state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom says that a team of its employees had been working on an experimental “isotope power source” when it exploded, killing five people and injuring three more in a still very mysterious accident yesterday. The company offered no specifics about the project, but this new information, coupled with other details, suggests that this power source may be associated with a nuclear-powered cruise missile called Burevestnik that the Kremlin first announced publicly last year.
The accident occurred near the village of Nyonoksa, also written Nenoksa, in the northwestern Russian region of Arkhangelsk on Aug. 8, 2019. This is a known test site for both cruise and ballistic missiles. There have been no previous reports that Russia has previously tested Burevestnik, also known to NATO as SSC-X-9 Skyfall, which Russian President Vladimir Putin first revealed the existence of in a speech in March 2018, at this particular location. Previous reports, citing anonymous U.S. officials, indicate that the Russians had been testing this missile, details about which are extremely limited, since at least 2017, from Novaya Zemlya, a remote archipelago in Russia’s far north that has also served as a nuclear weapon testing ground.
“The tragedy happened while working with the engineering and technical support of the isotope power source in a liquid propulsion system,” Rosatom’s statement reads. “Five employees … were killed while testing a liquid propulsion system. Three of our colleagues received injuries and burns of varying severity.”
The statement does not specifically mention Burevestnik, but the general description Rosatom gave sounds similar in many ways to what is known about this weapon’s propulsion system. The cruise missile reportedly has a nuclear-powered ramjet engine that uses rocket boosters – as seen in the video of a purported previous test of the weapon below – to get it to an optimal speed. At that point, the fast-moving air would then blow over the hot reactor, before squirting out an exhaust nozzle to generate thrust.
However, Severodvinsk authorities did say that the radiation levels had returned to normal within hours of the accident. The Russian Ministry of Defense subsequently denied any radiation leak whatsoever. Late on Aug. 8, 2019, officials in Severodvinsk pulled down the alerts about radiation that they had posted online in Russian and in English, deferring to the Ministry of Defense.
Putin wants the West to fear his new nuclear-propelled missiles. And we should be…because one of them may have just created the biggest nuclear accident since Chernobyl. #russiagonnarussia https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/12/world/europe/russia-nuclear-accident-putin.html …
U.S. Officials Suspect New Nuclear Missile in Explosion That Killed 7 Russians
Intelligence officials suspect that the explosion involved a prototype of a nuclear-propelled cruise missile that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has boasted can reach any corner of the earth.
Russia’s catastrophic test of a nuclear-powered missile proves that a new global arms race will mean new nuclear accidents.