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Offline Marlin

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I almost put this in Navy Stories but it would seem to interest everyone. I excerpted nuclear applicable areas for general nuclear interest, just follow the link on the bottom to read the whole article.

These Russian Submariners Had More To Worry About Than Enemy Navies


However, the power of the November class’s reactors was bought at the price of safety and reliability. A lack of radiation shielding resulted in frequent crew illness, and many of the boat suffered multiple reactor malfunctions over their lifetimes. This lack of reliability may explain why the Soviet Union dispatched conventional Foxtrot submarines instead of the November-class vessels during the Cuban Missile Crisis, despite the fact that the diesel boats needed to surface every few days, and for this reason were cornered and chased away by patrolling American ships.

K-8 started the trend in October 13, 1960, when a ruptured steam turbine nearly led to a reactor meltdown due to loss of coolant. The crew was able to jury-rig an emergency water-cooling system, but not before radioactive gas contaminated the entire vessel, seriously irradiating several of the crew. K-14, which would distinguish itself in the medical evacuation of an Arctic expedition in 1963, also experienced a reactor breakdown in 1961, necessitating its replacement the following years.

In February 1965, radioactive steam blasted through K-11 on two separate occasions while it underwent refueling at base. The repair crews misdiagnosed the implications of the first event and followed incorrect procedures during the second, and were ultimately forced to evacuate the reactor room, leading to fires breaking out across the ship. The Soviet crew flooded the vessel with 250 tons of water to put out the flames, spreading radioactive water throughout the entire vessel. Seven men were badly irradiated, and the reactor required a complete replacement before it could be returned to active duty three years later.

K-27, the lone Project 645 boat, experienced a breakdown in its port-side reactor on May 24, 1968, in the Barents Sea—despite the crew warning that the reactor had experienced a similar malfunction in 1967 and had yet to test that it was functioning properly. The entire crew of 124 was irradiated by radioactive gas, but Captain Leonov refused to take emergency measures until hours later due to his faith in the reactor. Shortly after the ship limped home on its starboard reactor, five of the crew died from radiation exposure within a month, with twenty-five more to follow in subsequent years. Repair of K-27 ultimately proved too expensive a proposition, so it was scuttled by ramming in Stepovoy Bay in waters only thirty-three meters deep—rather than the three to four thousand meters required by the IAEA.

The November-class boats finally began to enter retirement in the 1980s and early 1990s—but not before being subject to a final few accidents, not of their own making. In August 1985, K-42 was berthed next to the Echo-class submarine K-433 near Vladivostok when the latter suffered a nuclear refueling accident that killed ten and irradiated 239. K-42 was deemed so badly contaminated that it, too, had to be decommissioned.


https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/these-russian-submariners-had-more-worry-about-enemy-navies-122091
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2020, 09:39 by Marlin »

Offline fiveeleven

Perhaps the greatest ALARA engineer of all time was the good Admiral.

TVA

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The word National Interest should tell you about the validity of the article

Offline Marlin

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The word National Interest should tell you about the validity of the article

I have no idea what you are talking about.

TVA

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It means the source is National Interest. A bunch of hacks.

Offline Marlin

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It means the source is National Interest. A bunch of hacks.

I do not share your opinion on the site and the article is historically accurate.

Offline Marlin

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Media Bias/Fact Check

Overall, we rate The National Interest Right-Center Biased based on story selection and political affiliation that leans right. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/national-interest/


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