Russia to lift radioactive 'time bombs' from seafloor sparking fears of fish contamination

Unfortunately, one of the pontoons was ripped off by a strong gust of wind and the submarine sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea.

As the K-159 plunged to the seabed, it took with it nine of her crew and some 1,760lbs (800kg) of spent nuclear fuel.

A joint investigation by Russian and Norwegian authorities in 2014 revealed the submarine’s reactors have not leaked.

However, due to its overall poor shape and fragile, rusted hulls, scientists at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research warned the nuclear material contained within could still escape.

The leak would likely increase radioactive Caesium-137 concentrations in local cod populations by up 100 times their present levels for two years.

In March last year, President Vladimir Putin issued a decree calling for the K-159 to be lifted from the seafloor alongside the K-27 submarine in the Kara Sea.

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