Around 21,000 t of diesel has leaked into a Russian river near Norilsk, which is inside the Arctic circle, after a storage tank collapsed. It is believed that posts supporting
Around 21,000 t of diesel has leaked into a Russian river near Norilsk, which is inside the Arctic circle, after a storage tank collapsed. It is believed that posts supporting the tank sank due to melting permafrost following unusually warm weather.
The spill occurred at a heat and power plant operated by Norilsk-Taymyr Energy Company (NTEC), a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, on 29 May. According to Norilsk Nickel, around 21,000 t of diesel leaked into the Ambarnaya river. The company said that supporting posts at the base of a storage tank suddenly sank. Sergey Dyachenko, First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Norilsk Nickel, said: “We can assume that abnormally mild temperatures could have caused permafrost thawing resulting in partial subsidence of the tank’s supports.”
NTEC teams are currently assessing the risk of sinking soil under hazardous objects installed in permafrost. Dyachenko said that the tanks are inspected every second year so that negligence was not the cause of the collapse.
A fire also occurred on the site after a car came into contact with the leaked fuel, causing a fire around 300 m2 in area. The fire was contained and extinguished and the driver did not sustain any injuries.