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Gost marine security-nt 2.0.

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Globally Capable Wireless Marine Security, Monitoring & Satellite Tracking System

  • Designed specifically for the harsh marine environment, water resistant, offers global remote accessibility and includes a battery back-up
  • Uses the 6th generation GOST Nav-Tracker website and the ultra-reliable Inmarsat Satellite Constellation for all communication & control, NEW GOST Tracker App.
  • Up to 64 wireless marine security & monitoring sensors and 5 wireless relays to remotely control any AC or DC function on board

GOST NT-Evolution 2.0:


Comes with 2 of the GMM-KF2 Key Fob Remotes

The GOST NT-Evolution 2.0 was developed to offer a marine grade, water resistant, wireless security, monitoring and tracking system that provides global arm/disarm & relay control over satellite from anywhere in the world with the reassurance of a battery back-up. It is designed to defend ocean going vessels & any other asset that require a ruggedized, water resistant security, monitoring & tracking system. Easy to install, wireless sensors can be monitored and the system can be controlled remotely, no matter where the vessel is located globally, with the exception of the most extreme poles.

A modified GOST Phantom control unit is at the core of the system providing the logic for all the wireless sensors, outputs, and key fobs, while supplying a full battery backup to the award winning GOST Nav-Tracker Inmarsat satellite based tracking antenna in the event power to the unit is cut off.

An extensive range of up to 64 wireless sensors can protect & monitor your vessel while 5 wireless relays allow you to control any AC or DC function on board or activate other devices such as external sirens, strobes, or even pulse deck or cockpit lights when the system goes into alarm. Designed to “Prevent the Event” potential thieves will often abandon the vessel immediately on alarm prior to stealing electronics, equipment or the vessel itself. The GOST NT Evolution 2.0 uses the 5th generation GOST Nav-Tracker website and the ultra-reliable Inmarsat Satellite Constellation for all communication & control. There is also an optional built-in quad band GPRS/GSM Module for enhanced simultaneous voice and text message reporting and control when in GSM cellular range. A SIM card would need to be added for this function, and it is not required for operation of the system.

The GOST NT-Evolution 2.0 includes the GOST Nav-Tracker Antenna with integrated GPS Receiver and two-way Inmarsat Satellite Modem, the GOST Nav-Tracker Evolution 2.0 Control Unit with internal modied GOST Phantom Control Unit with built-in quad band GPRS/GSM Module inside an IP Rated Enclosure with internal battery backups for both the Phantom & Nav-Tracker Antenna, Two GMM-KF2 key fob remote controls, a 30′ antenna cable, a 6′ power cable and covert antenna mounting bracket.


  • Input Voltage: 10-32VDC
  • Short Circuit protection: Thermally Fused
  • Average Current Draw @ 12VDC when battery backup is charged = 120mA
  • Average Current Draw @ 12VDC when battery backup is charging = 800mA
  • Time to Charge battery backup: Approximately 5 hours


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Ocean Navigator

Taking boat security seriously

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Sailing around the world for more than 12 years, through more than 50 countries, it seems we have been lucky to have not lost anything to thieves. But we feel one’s luck runs out at some point, and the worst will eventually happen. Rather than paying an insurance premium, we put that money into upgrading and maintaining our boat in a seaworthy condition. This year, our “insurance budget” paid for installing a real marine security system to protect our equipment and us from people who may be determined to carry our things away.

Dinghy outboards have always been targets, as have cellphones and cash, but now thieves are also very interested in marine electronics, scuba gear and other treasures found on most cruising sailboats — not to mention the boat itself.

It is time for cruisers, not just superyachts, to take the lead from landlubbers and beef up security aboard our boats. Otherwise, many of us will pay the price. People ashore lock their homes and cars, and have security alarms and services, yet many sailboats leave hatches open and doors unlocked while blissfully asleep in paradise. Innocence is waning though; over the recent years, tightening of security on cruising sailboats has been a trend.

Even modest sailboats like ours are a treasure ship when viewed from the life of many villagers. In so many ways, YouTube channels and generous yachties worldwide advertise the relative wealth on board sailboats. Opportunistic thieves may think that most yachties have possessions to spare. Unfortunately, the very things that many of us barely afford and appear like fancy toys to those on shore, are actually for safety — from navigation consoles, satellite phones and fishfinders, to laptops and iPads. Losing them is not just a financial hit but also one that can endanger our safety and ability to sail onward. We are often in locations where purchasing locally or flying in replacements is a near impossible or expensive task. And when word gets around that we were robbed, and that we were then able to go out and replace those things a month later because we “need them,” a message is communicated that most of us can afford to quickly replace these items.

We felt that investing in a serious anti-theft system would be cheap insurance; the value of one moderate chartplotter exceeds the price of one great security system. Camera equipment, stereos, computers, outboard engines — we could be ruined by what thieves could grab in just half an hour.

Home-brewed security In the past few years, we got by with cheap wireless cameras and burglar alarms, both packaged and home-brewed. But, our handyman security left too many blind spots and kept us home to play security guards instead of seeing the world we sailed so far to see.

Our requirements for a new system were as follows:

• A system that did not need Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity to be fully operational. We often anchor in dodgy towns that are not near cellular towers, and we need to be protected everywhere. Cellular is a nice backup, but it should not be the primary method used to receive messages, arm the boat or contact authorities in any security system. Dodgy cellular means dodgy security. And any world cruiser knows how frequently there is spotty cellular, let alone no cellular service at all.

• Motion detectors and/or cameras that would not false alarm because of the cat, the rocking of the boat, birds, boats, leaves or laundry. YouTube has countless videos showing alarm systems that triggered when the sun came up, or a speedboat left the anchorage rocking, or a bird landed on the binnacle. It would not be acceptable to have our ship’s cat setting off alarms.

• Very low amperage draw: A system that could be left on full time but comes with its own backup battery system should power be cut or compromised.

• Wired where necessary/recommended, but otherwise wireless as much as possible to save on installation effort and the number of holes drilled. We would not sacrifice reliability for the sake of easier installation. We promised ourselves to listen to what the experts recommended, who in turn would listen to all of our questions and provide viable solutions with knowledge specific to sailboats.

• High reliability in a marine environment. Our boat takes a beating, gets wet, and any system we get must be ready for this. We didn’t want a home security system repurposed by the marketing department. This system needed to be specifically for boats, tested and true, nearly waterproof, slamming-waves-proof and salty-humidity-proof.

• Barely visible from inside or outside of the boat, yet effective enough to set off alarms before a thief gets to the point of breaking the boat to get in.

• Able to activate bright lights, strobe lights and disturbingly loud, nauseating alarms if someone boards or goes near any entrance to the boat from any direction.

• Capable of arming the boat while away, and also able to set active outside-only sensors when we are inside the boat.

• Internet/app access to the security system via satellite so we could know its current status when we are away — even when the boat is nowhere near Wi-Fi or cellular.

• Able to send alerts to local authorities by satellite whether the boat is in cellular range or not.

• The option to expand and grow the system in the future. We didn’t want to have to buy a whole new system to accommodate a new sensor.

• Everything in one — i.e., not three separate systems to arm and keep up with.

• The ability to specifically protect our outboard engine on deck, as this is a constant high-theft item. We lift and lock the dinghy engine every night, but we wanted extra protection for this or other things on deck, fully integrated as part of the complete system.

• Excellent technical support and a strong warranty by a reputable company who’s here for the long haul!

• We actually can’t imagine anyone stealing our boat. However, we have started to read accounts of boats smaller than ours being stolen. We decided it would be nice if the system could track outright theft of the boat, and involve the authorities quickly. The same function could serve us well if the boat decided to take a walkabout around the harbor by itself while it’s at anchor and we are ashore.

Everything in one system It was difficult to get everything we wanted all in one system. Some systems were primarily boat systems monitors, but not very strong on the security aspect. Others would have a sensor we wanted most but absolutely nothing else, no ability to expand in the future or poor support. Others tried to tell us what they wanted us to have and didn’t listen to what we felt we needed specific to our boat and situation. If a company couldn’t support us in the purchasing stage, how could it possibly get better after they had our money?

Only one company had everything on our wish list but, of course, it also had the highest price of all the systems. We opened our pocketbook wide and made an order with Global Ocean Security Technologies, or GOST ( ). The company doesn’t do home systems; they deal only in superyachts, poweryachts, luxury sailboats, speedboats and ordinary sailboats like ours. They have a stellar reputation for security systems on boats worldwide.

The folks at GOST preconfigured a lot of the system for us, modifying the system to make it affordable and specific for our needs. (Full disclosure: GOST did provide us with additional components in return for consideration in our articles and YouTube videos. However, we had already made a decision to buy their system prior to receiving any additional components). GOST also graciously allowed us to install the system ourselves, which it never does. This may possibly be due to Patrick’s stellar ideas in his “home-brewed security” video ( ), or possibly from aptitude in his other how-to videos and articles.

There were countless possibilities with GOST. We spent hours on Skype with the team at GOST deciding exactly what made sense for a boat like ours. The company’s website shows many of the options, but anything becomes possible in a conversation with GOST, and modifications can both reduce and increase the prices tremendously. Let the team know your budget up front, and they can likely create the best package for your individual boat’s layout as well as recommend the best installer.

What did we get? For the base system, we purchased the simplest but still sophisticated next-generation Universal Control Unit (UCU), which includes many new features including lower power draw, DC cutoff to protect the vessel’s batteries, dual battery backup, a broadened 10-32VDC input voltage, and an easier but more feature-rich user interface. It is the only system on the market offering security, monitoring, tracking and surveillance integrated together in just one system.

This UCU can operate over both cellular and Inmarsat geostationary satellite networks, allowing for true global coverage. It includes a full-function app for off-site control to arm/disarm and control any DC or AC device, while allowing notification via push notifications and SMS text messages. Local arming features still include utilization of the key fob or optional user-friendly 5- or 7-inch touch-screen keypads in addition to the app. The next-generation UCU can communicate with up to 32 sensors, five AC/DC devices and 32 users/key fobs. The system includes completely independent wireless door/hatch contacts, infrared beam sensors, deck pressure sensors and high water sensors, as well as DC battery low voltage, AC shore power loss and smoke detectors, just to name a few. The internal LTE/4G/3G communicator provides cellular control with the app as well as text messaging. Additionally, the UCU can work with any existing onboard Internet via its third-party CAT5 Ethernet plug, as GOST recognizes that many boats already have Internet access and there is no need to pay for a second cellular/VSAT connection.

This system utilizes GOST’s Nav-Tracker GPS and Inmarsat antenna, enclosed in an IP67-rated (water resistant) enclosure with a backup power supply. We went without the optional display/keypad unit just to save a tiny bit on power consumption, but mostly to save money. We can even add local law enforcement contact details and set them up to receive all the reports coming out of the unit while the event is unfolding, which is a great feature. The system utilizes Inmarsat satellites for all communication and control so that we are not reliant on cellular connectivity, though it does have a built-in, quad-band GPRS/GSM with dual SIM card slots offering simultaneous push notifications, emails and text message reporting and control when within GSM cellular range.

The “inputs” can include up to 32 sensors, wired or wireless. Some of the sensors have separate control units powered by the vessel’s batteries, while others are self-powered with batteries that must be changed each year. We opted for several simple but extra-wide gap hatch opening magnet sensors so we can leave windows slightly ajar for air but still be protected, as well as a pet-immune, dual-beam motion sensor for inside. (The companies we were impressed with recommended against outside motion detectors on at least a monohull, since reliability would be lacking due to constant boat movement). We also have a great pull sensor integrated in the system that will protect our dinghy and other stern-rail objects quite simply, conveniently and completely wirelessly.

But, our favorite — and a quite unique — sensor, which was not offered in most marine security systems, is the deck pressure sensor. Since we have easy access to our decks from below, we are able to epoxy these small noninvasive sensors anywhere below our deck,  in all the places intruders would have to step on in order to board or access hatches. They are miniature “land mines” that “blow up” when someone steps anywhere near them. They can operate very reliably and effectively on any deck material or thickness in wet, windy, dry, sunny, cold and hot weather alike. They even differentiate when a bird has landed, a dog or monkey has jumped aboard or a jerry can has fallen over, versus when a human has walked on them. This is a very tried-and-true technology, having been used on superyachts for decades. These sensors weighed very heavily in our decision since we want to deter thieves well before they start breaking windows to get in.

Next, we chose a number of “outputs,” which include multiple loud alarms, sirens, horns and various light configurations that will flash and shriek like an NYC discotheque, suggesting an entire police squad is on the way. Most are either onboard lights or horns we already have from previous systems, but there are a few — like the wireless strobe light and an additional siren or two — that will make a thief lingering on board not only too conspicuous, but also nauseous, in pain and unable to carry out their original intentions.

Two modes of operation We will be programming the system so that there are at least two different modes: “staying on board” arming for when we are sleeping but want the deck, outboard and hatch entries armed; and another “fully armed” mode for when we want everything turned on. The system also offers two partitions — essentially, two completely independent security systems under one roof, like one for crew and one for the owners.

If the boat were to be stolen or drift out of its “geofence” area that we define, the system will let us know and police will easily track the culprit, even if they head out to sea on our boat. This is particularly valuable, since no matter what one’s financial standing is, a boat is usually someone’s most valuable asset — and, for many of us, our full-time home.

Well into the future, we can add all kinds of additional monitoring and security sensors. We can control all DC and AC devices on board like lights, air conditioning, the heat or the stereo. We can add a keypad and things like that awesome cloaking system or acoustic barrier. We can add hidden stationary or revolving cameras and recorders, as well as FLIR night vision, even on top of the mast. The possibilities are extensive with this system.

We don’t insure Brick House , but we spend money and time to keep her safe and seaworthy. Installation of this high-end security system represents another step in “self insuring.” Our new GOST UCU security system will be watching on Brick House but never be seen — unless you stop by for a demonstration in the middle of the night.

Rebecca Childress is a marine writer who voyages aboard the Valiant 40 Brick House with her husband, Patrick. Their blog is at .

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By Ocean Navigator

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Superyacht Security

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Find out how we can help you with our integrated professional superyacht security services. Our experienced professionals are here to guide, advise and protect your interests across the globe.

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Our superyacht security offers bespoke security solutions to ensure the safety of all onboard. Services include risk assessments, security planning, training and 24/7 onboard security, all provided by our experienced professionals.

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We support superyacht management companies and owners with planning and advisory services regarding all aspects of maritime and yacht security. This provides a framework for effective security management, ensuring the safety and security of the vessel, its cargo and its crew.

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Our Ship Security Officers (SSOs) offer high-quality security services for yachts of all sizes, both at sea and in port. With expertise in threat assessment, crisis management and security procedures, our SSOs work closely with the vessel's crew to ensure the safety and security of all onboard.

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The safety and security of each vessel's crew is paramount. Our ship security officers ensure each crew member is properly briefed and well-practised in vital emergency procedures.

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We provide on-shore security and pre-journey planning for each stage of travel. Particularly for high-profile clients when a significant on-shore presence is required.

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Our comprehensive superyacht security service offers a meet-and-greet service and in-country executive protection, to ensure our client's and guests' safety and security are maintained from their arrival to their departure. 

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Our superyacht security services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual vessel and we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of protection available. Our management and operational teams are comprised of highly trained and experienced professionals who are dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of our clients and their prized yachts .

We can provide a full range of professional maritime security services, including highly experienced Ship Security Officers (SSO), for all types of superyachts and private vessels anywhere in the world. Our integrated solutions have been designed to combat all maritime security threats and mitigate risk to protect vessels, passengers, onboard assets and cargo to the highest industry standards.

Maritime crime, piracy and terrorism are all serious threats to the international maritime sector. Yacht security is a cause for concern for every owner, management company, private individual, or crew operating in international waters. Our expert risk assessments, planning and implementation of security measures provide an essential layer of protection to reduce or eliminate these threats to each vessel, both at port and at sea.

Our superyacht security service provides a complete vessel security solution, including onboard and on-shore security, voyage security, vessel security planning and crew safety training. Our SSOs are highly experienced and trained to identify and address any potential risks and vulnerabilities, providing security for vessels at every stage. By hiring our SSO services, you can rest assured that you are taking the necessary precautions to protect your yacht and everyone onboard.

Why you need our services

Superyachts are often targeted by cr iminals, without adequate security measures they can be vulnerable to theft, piracy and other criminal activities.

Our team of SSOs has extensive experience in implementing and maintaining security measures on board superyachts of all sizes and also acts as an extra layer of safety for the crew.

By working closely with you, we develop tailored security plans to meet your specific requirements and ensure the safety and security of your yacht and everyone onboard.

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We offer a comprehensive range of services, including risk assessments, security planning, security training for crew members and technical solutions such as CCTV, access control and monitoring systems.

Our structured approach to implementing security solutions includes a comprehensive risk assessment, customised security plans and ongoing training and support to ensure the effectiveness of our solutions.

Understanding your needs

At our company, we take the time to understand your specific security needs. Whether you require a full security plan for your superyacht or need discreet security for you and your guests, we have the expertise to cater to your specific requirements .

Our customised security plans ensure that you receive the necessary protection to safeguard your vessel and everyone onboard.

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We follow a structured approach to implementing our security solutions. We begin with a comprehensive risk assessment to identify any potential security threats and vulnerabilities .

Based on the assessment, we develop a customised security plan to address these threats and vulnerabilities. We then work closely with you and your crew to implement the necessary security measures and provide ongoing training and support to ensure the effectiveness of our solutions.

If you would like to learn more about our services or discuss your specific security needs, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is here to help ensure your safety and security.

What services do we offer?

Maritime security planning, on-shore security, journey management, travel security, how can we help you, maritime security surveys and security audits , maritime security risk assessments and recommendations, maritime security planning and advice, maritime vessel security, travel risk management, find out more about our yacht security services, our yacht security services.

Our security professionals are here to protect you, your crew and your vessel, anywhere around the world

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Our team of experts is well-versed in the latest anti-piracy techniques and has years of experience in providing effective counter-piracy solutions.

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Our comprehensive approach includes risk assessments, threat analysis, and the implementation of stat e-of-the-art security measures to deter pirates and prevent attacks.

With our anti-piracy service, our clients can rest assured that they are taking the necessary precautions to protect their vessels and crew from this ever-present threat.

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We offer comprehensive maritime security services and training that ensure the enforcement of vessel security and stowaway prevention procedures.

Our officers can provide around-the-clock over-watch and secu rity to combat the threat of maritime crime, offering much-needed support to the master and crew in the prevention of crime and stowaways.

With our expertise and experience in maritime security, we can help ensure the safety and security of your vessel and crew.

Give us a call to get started

Find out how we can protect you, your passengers, your crew and your vessel, but also safeguard your way of life

Steps to secure what’s important

We offer a comprehensive portfolio of ship security services, developed to assist maritime companies, yacht owners, crew and operators to meet international maritime law, ISPS Code and BMP requirements. We provide vessel security in the form of highly trained and experienced Ship Security Officers (SSO) and teams. Each member holds a Live Firing Certificate, C&G SSO Certificate, ENG1, STCW95 and Seaman’s Card. Additionally, each member is Trauma Medic Trained.  ​

We can provide worldwide on-site professional maritime security consultancy, risk management and vessel security risk assessments. Including, voyage threat assessments and port/marina risk assessments.

Our maritime consultants provide detailed pre-voyage ship security surveys, audits and assessments. Their objective is to review and provide recommendations to ensure existing security measures are effective and advice regarding the implementation of further measures is provided.

Voyage planning and preparation require professional maritime security practices to be considered, to fundamentally mitigate exposure and risks from piracy, terrorism, theft, smuggling, stowaway and other criminal activities, if these are to be eliminated. We provide up-to-date intelligence reports in support of the ship’s master, in preparation for transits, assessing passage risk and any known current threats. 

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Dec 16, 2020

by Press Release

We are first in your inbox with the most important news in the industry―keeping you smarter and one-step ahead in this ever-changing and competitive market.

New modification of Russian VVER-440 fuel loaded at Paks NPP in Hungary

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — After the recent refueling at power unit 3 of the Hungarian Paks NPP, its VVER-440 reactor has been loaded with a batch of fresh fuel including 18 fuel bundles of the new modification. The new fuel will be introduced at all four operating power units of the Paks NPP, and the amount of new-modification bundles in each refueling will be increased gradually.

Development of the new VVER-440 fuel modification was completed in 2020 under the contract between TVEL JSC and MVM Paks NPP Ltd. Its introduction would optimize the hydro-uranium ratio in the reactor core, enabling to increase the efficiency of fuel usage and advance the economic performance of the power plant operation. All VVER-440 fuel modifications are manufactured at the Elemash Machine-Building Plant, a facility of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal, Moscow Region.

Paks Nuclear Power Plant

“Introduction of a new fuel is an option to improve technical and economic performance of a nuclear power plant without substantial investment. We are actively engaged in development of new models and modifications of VVER-440 fuel for power plants in Europe. The projects of the new fuels for Loviisa NPP in Finland, Dukovany NPP in the Czech Republic, Mochovce and Bohunice NPPs in Slovakia, are currently at various stages of implementation. Despite the same reactor model, these projects are quite different technically and conceptually, since we take into account the individual needs and requirements of our customers,” commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.

For reference:

The project of development and validation of the new fuel has been accomplished with participation of a number of Russian nuclear industry enterprises, such as OKB Gidropress (a part of Rosatom machine-building division Atomenergomash), Bochvar Institute (material science research facility of TVEL Fuel Company), Elemash Machine-building plant and Kurchatov Institute national research center. At the site of OKB Gidropress research and experiment facility, the new fuel passed a range of hydraulic, longevity and vibration tests.

Paks NPP is the only functioning nuclear power plant in Hungary with total installed capacity 2000 MWe. It operates four similar units powered by VVER-440 reactors and commissioned one by one in 1982-1987. Currently, Paks NPP is the only VVER-440 plant in the world operating in extended 15-monthes fuel cycle. The power plant produces about 15 bln kWh annually, about a half of electric power generation in Hungary. In 2018, the project of increasing the duration of Paks NPP fuel cycle won the European competition Quality Innovation Award in the nomination “Innovations of large enterprises”. Russian engineers from TVEL JSC, Kurchatov Institute, OKB Gidropress, Bochvar Institute and Elemash Machine-building plant provided assistance to the Hungarian colleagues in accomplishment of the project.

  TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organizations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants. TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom provides nuclear fuel for 73 power reactors in 13 countries worldwide, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power reactor in the world operates on fuel manufactured by TVEL.  

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Norilsk: The city built by gulag prisoners where Russia guards its Arctic secrets

Environmental activists are frustrated by how authorities handled a diesel spill which poured into two Arctic rivers in late May.

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Moscow correspondent @DiMagnaySky

Friday 3 July 2020 23:41, UK

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Arctic suffers worst ever industrial spill

The drive from Norilsk airport to the city takes you past mile after mile of crumbling, Soviet-era factories.

It looks like an endless, rusting scrapyard - a jumble of pipes, industrial junk and frost-bitten brickwork. If you were looking for an industrial apocalypse film setting, this would be your place - but you're unlikely to get the permissions.

Norilsk was built in Stalin's times by gulag prisoners. This gritty industrial city is a testament to their endurance both of the cruelty of Stalin's regime and of the harsh polar climate. There were no thoughts then on how to build to protect the environment, just to survive it.

Norilsk in Russia. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Vasily Ryabinin doesn't think much has changed, at least in ecological terms. He used to work for the local branch of the federal environmental watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, but quit in June after exposing what he says was a failure to investigate properly the environmental impact of the gigantic diesel spill which poured into two Arctic rivers in late May.

At 21,000 tonnes, it was the largest industrial spill in the polar Arctic .

Despite the Kremlin declaring a federal emergency and sending a host of different agencies to participate in the clean-up, just last week Mr Ryabinin and activists from Greenpeace Russia found another area where technical water used in industrial processes was being pumped directly into the tundra from a nearby tailing pond. Russia's investigative committee has promised to investigate.

"The ecological situation here is so bad," Mr Ryabinin says.

"The latest constructions such as the tailing pond at the Talnack ore-processing plant were built exclusively by Nornickel chief executive Vladimir Potanin's team and supposedly in accordance with ecological standards, but on satellite images you can see that all the lakes in the vicinity have unnatural colours and obviously something has got into them."

Nornickel Plant and container (on the left) which had the leak. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Mining company Nornickel would disagree. It has admitted flagrant violations at the tailing pond and suspended staff it deems responsible at both the Talnack plant and at Norilsk Heat and Power plant no 3 where the diesel spill originated from.

On Thursday it appointed Andrey Bougrov, from its senior management board, to the newly-created role of senior vice president for environmental protection. It has a clear environmental strategy, provides regular updates on the status of the spill, and its Twitter feed is filled with climate-related alerts.

But what investors read is very different to the picture on the ground.

21,000 tonnes of diesel oil has spilled into two rivers in Norilsk

Norilsk used to be a closed city - one of dozens across the Soviet Union shut off to protect industrial secrets. Foreigners need special permissions approved by the Federal Security Service (FSB) to enter the region. It would take an invitation from Nornickel to make that happen and, for the past month since the spill, that has not been forthcoming.

Unlike in Soviet times, Russian citizens are now free to come and go. That's why our Sky News Moscow team were able to fly in and travel around the city, even if getting to the spill site was blocked. What they were able to film provides a snapshot of the immense challenge Russia faces in upgrading its Soviet-era industrial infrastructure, particularly at a time when climate change is melting the permafrost on which much of it was built.

The Russian city of Norilsk. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Just downwind from one of the rusting factories on the city outskirts is a huge expanse of dead land. The skeletal remains of trees stand forlorn against the howling Arctic winds. Sulphur dioxide poisoning has snuffed the life out of all that lived here. Norilsk is the world's worst emitter of sulphur dioxide by a substantial margin.

"For 80km south of here everything is dead," Mr Ryabinin says, "and for at least 10km in that direction too. Everything here depends on the wind."

Sample took by Vasily Ryabinin near the Nornickel plant in Norilsk, Russia, on the day of an accident. Pic: Vasily Ryabinin

Immediately after the spill, Mr Ryabinin filmed and took samples from the Daldykan river just a few kilometres from the fuel tank which had leaked. By that point the river was a churning mix of diesel and red sludge dredged up from the riverbed by the force of the leak. Norilsk's rivers have turned red before and the chemical residues have sunk to the bottom, killing all life there. Nothing has lived in those rivers for decades.

In his capacity as deputy head of the local environmental watchdog, Mr Ryabinin says he insisted that he be allowed to fly further north to check the levels of contamination in Lake Pyasino and beyond.

Nornickel at the time claimed the lake was untouched by the spill. Mr Ryabinin says his boss encouraged him to let things be.

"I can't be sure I would have found anything, but this sort of confrontation - making sure I didn't go there with a camera, let alone with bottles for taking samples, it was all very clear to me. It was the final straw."

Rosprirodnadzor refused to comment to Sky News on Mr Ryabinin's allegations or suggestions that the agency was working hand in hand with Nornickel.

The Nornickel plant and the place where diesel meets red water (polluted by other chemicals). Pic: Vasily Ryabinin

Georgy Kavanosyan is an environmental blogger with a healthy 37,000 following on YouTube. Shortly after the spill, he set out for Lake Pyasino and to the Pyasina River beyond to see how far the diesel had spread.

"We set out at night so that the Norilsk Nickel security wouldn't detect us. I say at night, but they've got polar nights there now, north of the Arctic Circle. So it's still light but it's quieter and we managed to go past all the cordons."

He is one of the few to have provided evidence that the diesel has in fact travelled far beyond where the company admits. Not just the 1,200km (745m) length of Lake Pyasino but into the river beyond.

He says his measurements indicated a volume of hydrocarbons dissolved in the water of between two and three times normal levels. He thinks after he published his findings on YouTube, the authorities' vigilance increased.

Greenpeace Russia have spent the last two weeks trying to obtain samples from Lake Pyasino and the surrounding area. They have faced difficulties getting around and flying their samples out for independent analysis.

They are now waiting for results from a laboratory in St Petersburg but say the samples remain valid technically for just four days after collection and that they weren't able to make that deadline due to the authorities' actively obstructing their work.

Vasily Ryabinin and Elena Sakirko from Greenpeace. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Elena Sakirko from Greenpeace Russia specialises in oil spills and says this has happened to her before. This time, a police helicopter flew to the hunter's hut where they were staying and confiscated the fuel for the boat they were using. Then a deputy for the Moscow city parliament tasked with bringing the samples back from Norilsk was forced to go back empty-handed.

"We were told at the airport we needed permission from the security department of Nornickel," Ms Sakirko says. "We asked them to show us some law or statement to prove that this was legal or what the basis for this was, but they haven't showed us anything and we still don't understand it."

Nornickel announced this week that the critical stage of the diesel spill is over. The company is now finalising dates for a press tour for foreign media and for other international environmentalists.

Mr Ryabinin thinks this should have happened weeks ago.

"If we don't let scientists come to the Arctic region to evaluate the impact of the accident, then in the future if anything similar happens, we won't know what to do."

A spokesperson for Nornickel said the company "is actively cooperating with the scientific community and will meticulously assess both the causes and effects of the accident."

The Russian city of Norilsk. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Nornickel considers permafrost thawing to be the primary cause of the accident, but is waiting for the end of investigation before making a final statement, the spokesperson said.

They added that the company "accepts full responsibility for the incidents on its sites these past two months and holds itself accountable for any infrastructural deficits or poor decisions by personnel.

"The imperative is to do everything to clean up our sites, instil a stronger culture of transparency and safety in our workforce, and ensure that such situations do not occur in the future."


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