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Investigation ordered as Russian river turns red

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Kal-L
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« on: September 12, 2016, 11:25:42 pm »

Investigation ordered as Russian river turns red

Pipeline is feared to have broken in Arctic city of Norilsk, where Daldykan river runs close to nickel-producing factory
The red Daldykan river in Norilsk, Russia
Some social media users suggested the Daldykan had also changed colour in June. Photograph: Facebook

Alec Luhn in Moscow

Wednesday 7 September 2016 12.28 EDT
Last modified on Wednesday 7 September 2016 12.34 EDT



Russian authorities have ordered an investigation into a possible pipeline break after a river in the nickel-producing Arctic city of Norilsk turned bright red.

Social media users began sharing photos of the unnaturally red Daldykan river on Tuesday, with some writing that it had also changed colour in June.

A few users suggested iron ore in the ground had changed the river’s colour, but others said industrial waste was a more likely reason. The river runs near to the Nadezhda metallurgical factory run by Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium.

Russia’s natural resources and environment ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that it was investigating complaints of unknown chemical pollution, possibly caused by a “break in a Norilsk Nickel slurry pipe”.
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Kal-L
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 11:26:20 pm »




The red Daldykan river in Norilsk, Russia

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Kal-L
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 11:26:40 pm »

One online commenter quoted the Bible: ‘Strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.’ Photograph: Facebook

Norilsk Nickel denied an industrial spill into the Daldykan and said the “colour of the river today doesn’t differ from its usual condition”, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported. But the company said it was temporarily reducing manufacturing work while it monitored the situation. The Norilsk mayor’s office said the city’s water supply came from other sources.

According to Denis Koshevoi, a PhD candidate at the Vernadsky Institute for Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, who is researching pollution in the area, Norilsk Nickel pumps chemical solutions from Nadezhda to a nearby tailings dam via pipes. It also pumps metal concentrates from ore mills to Nadezhda, he said.

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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 11:27:15 pm »

“Periodically there are accidents when these pipes break and the solutions spill and get into the Daldykan – that’s why it changes colour,” Koshevoi told the Guardian.
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“A leak into the river from the Nadezhda factory,” the Norilsk resident Yekaterina Basalyga wrote under two pictures of the river on her Instagram account. “You get scared when you see this. And people are still gathering mushrooms and berries.”

Another commenter quoted the Bible passage in which the Lord tells Moses and Aaron to “strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood”.

Norilsk developed as a gulag camp in 1935 and is known for its harsh winters, two-month polar night and high level of industrial pollution.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 11:27:56 pm »



One online commenter quoted the Bible: ‘Strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.’ Photograph: Facebook
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 11:29:02 pm »

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/07/investigation-ordered-russia-daldykan-river-turns-red-norilsk
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 11:30:15 pm »

Russian metals firm admits spillage turned river blood red

Norilsk Nickel insists the temporary problem will not affect people or wildlife, but environmental activists say it is too early to tell


Daldykan river turned red
Norilsk Nickel says heavy rain caused flooding that polluted the river. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

AFP in Moscow

Monday 12 September 2016 14.28 EDT
Last modified on Monday 12 September 2016 14.33 EDT

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Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel has admitted a spillage at one of its plants was responsible for turning a local river blood red.

Russia’s environment ministry last week launched an investigation into the incident after images showed the Daldykan river near Norilsk in the far north of Russia flowing bright red, with local activists blaming the nearby Nadezhda metallurgical plant.

After initially refusing to confirm a leak, Norilsk Nickel – the world’s biggest producer of nickel and palladium – on Monday said heavy rain on 5 September had resulted in water flooding over a filtration dam at the plant and into the river.

“Despite the short-term discolouration of the water ... this incident does not present a danger for people or fauna in the river,” the company said in a statement.
Investigation ordered as Russian river turns red
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Environmental activists, however, insisted that it was too early to judge the environmental impact, since the official investigation was still ongoing.

“You can’t just say that it’s no big deal. Right now there is a ministry of environment commission there,” said Greenpeace Russia official Alexei Kiselyov.

Kiselyov said that investigating pollution from Norilsk Nickel plants was extremely difficult, because its infrastructure was located in remote areas and the firm controlled access to the entire Taymyr peninsula, which lies between the Kara and Laptev seas in the Russian Arctic.

Groups representing indigenous populations in the area say that local media went out of their way to whitewash the company and did not inform the public after the accident.

“We had a report after it happened that claimed the river colour came [naturally] from clay. That is just laughable to local people,” said Sidor Chuprin, an indigenous activist.

He accused Norilsk Nickel workers of poor safety standards and said locals are concerned about the Daldykan river, because they fish in another river further downstream.

“They don’t care about polluting, because they all have homes on the mainland,” he said, referring to central Russia.

Chuprin added that there were no environmental officials based on the remote peninsula, and that locals struggled to hold the metals giant to account.

“Of course, this is in their interest,” he said of Norilsk Nickel. “We are not experts; all we can do is take a picture.”
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2016, 11:30:51 pm »

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/12/russian-metals-firm-admits-spillage-turned-river-blood-red
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