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Reviews of the press
  A rusty bomb may blast the centre of Europe

2007 07 09

On 18 May 1984 a formidable pear-shaped cloud emerged over the outskirts of the city and people were escaping in panic – the imitator of nuclear explosion went off in the warehouses of the fleet. Now Kaliningrad is under the threat of even more portentous perspective. Rusty arsenals, utilization of which is failing, are ready to go up…

Holding a session in Kaliningrad of the National Anti-terrorist Committee Director of the FSS (Federal Security Service) of the Russian Federation Nikolaj Patrushev spoke about prevention of terrorist acts, expansion of border control zones, etc., but did not say a word about the “rusty death” threatening the region.

Over two decades have already passed since the day, when arsenal warehouses of the North fleet in the vicinity of Severomorsk exploded. The scenery was terrifying: jumpy houses affected by the explosion, piles of broken glass, half-dressed people in panic running on the only road leading towards Murmansk. Then explosions followed in the arsenal warehouses of the Pacific fleet, an adversity has been hardly avoided in the Baltics, arsenal warehouses are periodically exploding in the Ukraine.

Such facts come to the mind while studying the energy development strategy in the Kaliningrad region, worked out by the local ministry of infrastructure: in the period of 2007 – 2009 several electro power stations are planned to be built there, including the district of Svetlij and Baltijsk. But in the close vicinity of these regions, where the construction of electro power stations is designed, deposits of war and post-war arsenals still remain located. Perhaps, somebody is not willing to pay attention to that? Or we just trust the Russian “may be by chance it will pass…"

Scientists are stating for a reasonable period of time that Kaliningrad region is a certain powder-keg in the middle of Europe and give the sound of alarm.

Some fifteen years ago the Government of Russia approved the “Federal Programme for the utilization of armament and weaponry before 2000”. However, in a few years already the implementation of the programme confronted with financial difficulties due to lack of budgetary funding.

Even one tenth of all obsolete and out-dated ammunition that was kept before the fall of the Soviet Union and later hastily deposited into the region from the Baltic States, Germany and Poland alongside with the withdrawal of the soviet army potentially endanger not only Russia, but also the coastline of the Baltic Sea. Analytical scientists do not discount the possibility of explosions, pollution of the environment and outbursts of various diseases in the most Western region of Russia.

How much has the situation changed by now? The fleet, however, is in no better possession of funds as before for the construction of new bases and the improvement of maintenance of ammunition due to scarce funding. Transportation of explosive substances in the ready-made form from the region to the places of utilization is not safe and economically not efficient, and via the railway through the Baltic States even impossible.

In the assignment of the President of Russia to the Chairman of the Government it is written in black-and-white: “I request to address the issue concerning the completion of the construction of the complex for the utilization of the out-dated ammunition on the territory of The Kaliningrad region”.

Since then Russia witnessed the change of presidents, ministers of defence, and governors in the region. However, the above mentioned complex still does not exist as before. Nobody even recalls now the registered in the region Federal Centre of ecological utilization. Actually this Centre had elaborated jointly with the Russian Federal Nuclear Centre documentation, made the equipment and tested the technology of the utilization of cannon-shots of all calibres. The developed equipment could have been transported by motorcars, trains and ferries, and had an autonomous power grid enabling it to function close to the bases, arsenals and warehouses.

It is interesting to note, that the processing of trotyl produces the secondary nano-substance – ultra-dispersive diamond of high purity. According to the opinion of scientists such diamonds, due to their unique characteristics, could find application in all branches of industry and medicine, environmental protection, in particular in the sphere of purification of drinking water and other liquids, including blood. Through the utilization of ammunition with the help of such equipment unique substances with huge thermal resistance may be obtained. Moreover, the processed products BB may be converted into fertilizers, fuel, varnish, paints, raw material for perfumery and medicine.

Material has been prepared by the Centre For Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article in Правда.ru of 27 June 2007

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