Russia 090820 Basic Political Developments

Transformer lubricant didn't leak into Yenisei river – Rostekhnadzor

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Transformer lubricant didn't leak into Yenisei river – Rostekhnadzor
CHERYOMUSHKI TOWN, Khakassia. Aug 20 (Interfax) - Transformer

lubricant did not leak into the Yenisei river after the accident at the

Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant. It was oil from the

hydroelectric generating units that got into the Yenisei, said Nikolai

Kutyin, head of the industrial, technological and nuclear safety

oversight service Rostekhnadzor.

"Not a single gram of transformer lubricant has leaked into the

water," Kutyin told the media on Thursday.

The oil that leaked from the hydroelectric generating unit did not

contain any additives. "It is a pure petrochemical product, used in

hydraulics. It could not have contained any additives," he said.

The transformers were above the flood level in the plant's machine

compartment, Kutyin said. Each transformer has a protection system,

should an oil leak occur. The transformers have been examined visually

and no damage has been spotted, the official said.

Russia tackles Siberia oil slick

Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:14 UK

Chemical pollution from Monday's explosion at Russia's largest hydro-electric power station has killed fish and spread down a major Siberian river.

Russian officials say booms are being deployed on the Yenisei river to trap the transformer oil. Absorbents are being thrown from helicopters.

In a stormy meeting with officials, relatives of the missing said they feared not being told the whole truth.

The blast killed as many as 76 people at the Sayano-Shushenskaya plant.

The search for dozens of missing workers is continuing.

The number of confirmed dead stands at 14.

The mayor of Abakan, Nikolay Bulakin, said drinking water was unaffected in the town of Abakan, because it was drawn from the Abakan river.

But he said said that environmental damage had already been done, and he had heard reports that many trout at fish farms had been poisoned.

At least 40 tonnes of transformer oil spilled into the Yenisei, which flows north to the Arctic.

Relatives' anger

In a tumultuous meeting with local officials, relatives of the missing men demanded to know what had gone wrong.

"They do not care what has happened to our men," shouted one, according to Reuters news agency. "We want to know the truth."

"The state and the owners just cared about profit," another relative said.

Others said they wanted to know if their relatives had died, but feared they were not being told.

The power plant, one of the world's biggest, lies some 3,000 km (1,875 miles) east of Moscow. It has now stopped working.

The dam is 245m (800ft) high and stretches 1km (0.6 miles) across the Yenisei river.

The explosion flooded a turbine hall and destroyed three generating units.

Divers are examining the debris in the hall and searching for bodies, in icy water.

Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said it would take at least a week to assess damage in the flooded hall.

The blast's cause is unknown but reports said investigators believed a transformer exploded during repairs.

The plant's owner said the flooding had occurred due to a pressure surge in water pipes.

Wednesday is an official day of mourning in the remote mountain region of Khakassia where the plant is located.

RusHydro said the damage would run into "billions of roubles" and take several months to repair.

Mr Shoigu said repairing the turbine hall alone could cost 40bn roubles ($1.3bn; £762m).

But he said it would still be worth doing the repairs, because the dam - undamaged by the blast - had accounted for 80% of the construction cost.

Opened in 1978, the station provides a quarter of RusHydro output and is a major power supplier to at least two smelters owned by United Company RUSAL, the world's largest aluminium producer.

SCO supports Russia in suppression of terrorist activity in the North Caucasus

13:18 20.08.2009

text: Kazakhstan Today

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) supports Russia in suppression of terrorist activity in the North Caucasus. SCO Secretary General, Bolat Nurgaliev, said in connection with terrorism act in Nazran, Kazakhstan Today agency reports citing SCO official site.

"SCO member states are solidary with the actions undertaken by the Russian authorities to suppress terrorist activity and safety and stability in the country," B. Nurgaliev said.

"In connection with the act of terrorism in Nazran (the Republic of Ingushetia of the Russian Federation), that have entailed numerous human victims, we condole with the victims' families."

One killed, one injured in south Russia blast
MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) - One man was killed and another severely wounded when an explosive device went off in south Russia's Republic of Kabardino Balkaria, a local police official said on Thursday.

The explosion went off near a stadium in the town of Tyrnyauz late on Wednesday, the official said.

"A man died at the scene as a result of the explosion, and another man was taken to hospital with multiple injuries," the official said, adding that police resumed an examination of the scene this morning.

Russia's North Caucasus region has been swept by a wave of militant violence in recent months.

Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya, saw its deadliest attack in years on Monday, when a suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden minivan rammed the gate of the police headquarters in Nazran, killing 24 people and injuring 136.

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