Barents sea nuclear sub incident denied by Russia

The Russian Navy has today denied a report that one of its nuclear submarines had suffered an accident during recent exercises in the Barents Sea and couldn’t reach port under its own power.

The Russian Navy has today denied a report that one of its nuclear submarines had suffered an accident during recent exercises in the Barents Sea and couldn’t reach port under its own power.

It is claimed that an unidentified submarine from the Northern Fleet had apparently suffered a reactor shutdown and was towed to its base during naval manoeuvres earlier this month.

Navy spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo said that a Northern Fleet submarine had indeed been towed to harbour but ....’’the submarine had no malfunctions, and the exercise was simply an imitation of rescuing a faulty vessel.’’

He dismissed Versiya’s claim that the Navy staged the rescue exercise to cover up the submarine’s accident. ‘‘The submarine is currently at sea performing a regular training,’’ he said.

Dygalo refused to give the submarine’s name or type. The Interfax news agency quoted unidentified naval officers as saying that it was a project 671 nuclear-powered attack submarine, known as Victor III in the West.

The Russian Navy suffered a severe blow last August when one of its most modern nuclear submarines, the Kursk, exploded and sank during Barents Sea manoeuvres, killing all its 118 crewmen. The government hasn’t determined the disaster’s cause, and plans to raise the wreck of the Kursk this fall.

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