Aug 22, 2018, 23:55 PM IST,
New Delhi: Russia is preparing to recover a nuclear missile which crashed into the sea after a failed test last year. Crews will attempt to recover a missile that was test launched in November and landed in the Barents Sea, which is located north of Norway and Russia.
The recovery operation will include three ships, one of which is equipped to deal with the radioactive material. Scientists are worried that nuclear material from the missile could damage the ocean.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in March this year unveiled the new nuclear-powered missile boasting that it had unlimited range and could strike anywhere in the world.
But US intelligence sources said his boasts were false as Russia four of the missiles between last November and this February, each resulting in a crash.
Now, Russian experts are gearing up to recover one of the crashed missiles amid fears it is leaking nuclear material into the Barents Sea, US intelligence sources told CNBC.
Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told CNBC, “It goes without saying that if you fire a missile with a nuclear engine or energy source, that nuclear material will end up wherever that missile ends up.”
“If this missile was lost at sea and recovered in full, then you might hypothetically be able to do it without pollution, I would have my doubts about that because it’s a very forceful impact when the missile crashes. I would suspect you would have leaked from it,” he added.
The longest test flight lasted just over two minutes, flying 22 miles, while the shortest was just four seconds, taking the rocket five miles before it crashed. Russia, however, denied the missile test failures. It is also unclear if the other missiles are missing at sea, too.
CBNC quoted its sources as saying that the missiles had crashed because the ‘nuclear-powered heart of the cruise missile failed to initiate’.
Notably, the crashes came days after Putin announced that the Russian military will start receiving some of the other new weapons he spoke about in March, by 2019.