One person was killed and another hurt in a fire Monday on a decommissioned nuclear submarine that was being scrapped in northern Russia, but the vessel's reactor had already been removed and radiation levels were normal in the port, officials said.
"There was no nuclear reactor in the vessel. It had been removed earlier," a spokesman for the emergency situations ministry in the Arkhangelsk region told AFP by telephone. "Radiation levels are normal."
The fire broke out early Monday aboard a "Victor" class submarine while work on its dismantling was under way.
It was extinguished within 20 minutes, the spokesman said.
The Interfax news agency said an explosion preceded the fire, but the RIA Novosti agency said no explosion had occurred. Both reports quoted the same official at Severodvinsk shipyard.
Severodvinsk is located in far northwest Russia on the coast of the White Sea and its shipyards are responsibile for the design, construction, testing, repair and decommissioning of nuclear-powered ships.
"Victor" is the NATO designation for Soviet-era submarines believed first to have been put in service around 1967.
The cause of the fire was being investigated, the reports said.
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Japan, Russia To Begin Next Phase Of Nuclear Sub Dismantling Plan
Vladivostok, Russia (AFP) Jul 11, 2005
Japan and Russia hope to begin later this year the second phase of a plan to dismantle ageing Russian nuclear submarines that threaten to pollute in the Sea of Japan, a visiting Japanese official said Monday.
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