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One Killed, One Hurt In Fire On Scrapped Russian Nuclear Submarine

AFP file image of Russian submarines decaying at their port.

Moscow, Russia (AFP) Aug 02, 2005
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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Marathon North Korean Nuclear Talks Struggle Through Seventh Day
Beijing, China (AFP) Aug 02, 2005
Six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons drive struggled through a seventh day with limited progress Monday as differences persisted on key disarmament issues.

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