Wednesday, 28 July 2021

W Weekly Update

August 10-17

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Deadly blast in Russia 

CNN informs that last Thursday, seven nuclear specialists employed by Rosatom, Russia's state atomic energy corporation, were killed in a blast at a military test site in northern Russia, not far from the port of Severodvinsk.

"We think it was a nuclear-powered cruise missile that they call Burevestnik, also known as Skyfall" Jeffrey Lewis, an arms-control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey said to the reporters.

The Guardian reports that the explosion caused radiation readings in neighboring cities to spike to 20 times their normal level for half an hour. Experts in Russia’s nuclear programme have also spotted the nuclear fuel carrier ship Serebryanka near the site of last week’s explosion, where it is believed to have been taking part in a recovery effort. The vessel had previously been spotted in the waters near Novaya Zemlya, where Russia reportedly tested the Burevestnik missile in 2017.

The Wall Street Journal writes that the U.S. believes the explosion was the result of a failure at a launch facility and not a missile that exploded after launch, a senior administration official said. However it remains unclear if the failure occurred at launch or through other circumstances.

The person close to the Defense Ministry also said he likewise doubted that Skyfall was responsible for the blast and said instead it was likely caused by tests of a different type of engine, called “Putin’s battery” among defense industry experts. The engine is meant to be used for space launches or the Poseidon.

The New York Times writes that authorities in Arkhangelsk region urged residents of a village near a missile test range to leave their homes, days after the explosion.


Prepared by Marina Muradyan

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