Environmentalists Worry of Nuclear Radiation from Oil Exploration in Kara Sea

It has been greatly reported that oil companies worldwide are pursuing oil investment in the Arctic on the belief that the region contains several of the world’s best remaining untapped oil fields. Environmentalists are battling efforts to begin oil exploration, worrying that any major oil spill may lead to the damage of the planet’s last untouched wilderness.

The region of the Kara Sea, Rosneft’s and Exxon Mobil’s target for conducting oil drilling, contains an amount of oil that may be capable of significantly impacting global supply dynamics for years to come. Oil drilling activities in the area make environmentalists worry even more of the potential for nuclear radiation.

The Kara Sea is very isolated; so much so that the Soviet Union utilized it as a dump site for radioactive substances for over 25 years. Both oil companies have disagreed that this nuclear waste, projected to comprise of more than 17,000 radioactive waste barrels, old nuclear submarine and worn-out reactors, need be fully removed before they perform  oil exploration activities.

The Norweigan Radiation Protection Authority’s scientists will soon show the results of their initial survey in the region to know if radiation has remained stable or is rising. ¬†Rosneft gave a statement in an attempt to assure the public that all environmental and nature-protecting rules are being adhered to utilizing ideal practices.

The K-27 nuclear submarine is the most unsafe item below the sea floor of the area. The Soviet navy discarded the submarine there in 1981. According to the NRPA, any major corrosion could destroy the reactor of the ship and lead to an environmental tragedy. Director Per Strand of the NRPA further cautioned that there is a probability that the reactor’s used nuclear fuel can lead to an unrestrained chain reaction in extreme conditions which can result in the release of radioactivity and heat.

Ecologist Igor Kudrik of Bellona, a Norweigan campaign group, recommends that oil companies must ensure that the region is fully free of toxic waste prior conducting oil exploration there.