From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ambarnaya River
Mains level : NA
Russia has declared a state of emergency after a power plant fuel leak in its Arctic region caused 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil to escape into a local river, turning its surface crimson red.
Locate major rivers in Russia in the given map from east-west and west-east directions.
Details of the spillage
- The Ambarnaya River, into which the oil has been discharged, is part of a network that flows into the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean.
- The state-owned TASS news agency reported that the emergency measures were announced within Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region, located in the vast and sparsely populated Siberian peninsula.
How did the leak happen?
- The thermoelectric power plant at Norilsk is built on permafrost, which has weakened over the years owing to climate change.
- The power plant is located near the Region’s Norilsk city, around 3000 km northeast of Moscow.
- This caused the pillars that supported the plant’s fuel tank to sink.
- Around 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil was released into the Ambarnaya river, which has since drifted 12 km on its surface.
What has Russia done so far?
- Boom obstacles were placed in the river, but they were unable to contain the oil because of shallow waters.
- The state of emergency declared would bring in extra forces and federal resources for the clean-up efforts.
What is the extent of the damage?
- Environmentalists have said the river would be difficult to clean, given its shallow waters and remote location, as well as the magnitude of the spill.
- This is the second-largest known oil leak in modern Russia’s history in terms of volume.
- The clean-up effort could take between 5-10 years.