On August 2, Fyodor Konukhov, a famous explorer, returned to Murmansk on nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy from a one-man polar expedition. Within the Clean Arctic project, he has collected information about intensity of ice melting, micro-plastics concentration, and the seabed seismic activity of the Arctic Ocean.
For the first time in the history of arctic research, the work of a polar drifting station was arranged in summer. The expedition started from Murmansk on July 11. During the previous trip, the 50 Let Pobedy icebreaker delivered F. Konyukhov to the point of the geographic North Pole. The drift period on the ice floe was 249 hours. The research data will be sent to the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In Murmansk, Konyukhov was met by administrative officials of the Murmansk Region, Mr. Mustafa Kashka, CEO at FSUE Atomflot, and others. "Speaking about the Clean Arctic project, we often talk about the Arctic that is far from us. But we shall start with ourselves. Rosatomflot has been participating in the Arctic ecological rehab for a long time, it is engaged in the removal of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Recently, a project on the disposal of the Lepse floating technical base was completed, which significantly reduced environmental risks. "It is important to make Arctic cleaner but we shall start from our region rather than far territories", Mustafa Kashka said.
Dmitry Lobusov, captain of the nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy and the initiator of the Clean Arctic project, believes that in the course of cleaning it is important not to harm the fragile ecosystem. "We are glad that people started thinking about the ecology of the Arctic region and started serious work in this field. Hopefully, a new wave of interest in this "Big Arctic Cleaning" will not stop until we get everything done", said the captain.
"I am very pleased that young people love the Arctic," said Fyodor Konyukhov. "When I was young, everyone really wanted to be like Papanin, the Soviet Arctic explorer. Now, being 'over the hill', I am sometimes anxious asking myself - will there be someone after us, will anybody care about the Arctic the way we do today? When people seriously talk about preserving the Arctic, that makes me really happy".
The idea of Clean Arctic aimed at creating a unified program to clean the Arctic territories was proposed by Dmitry Lobusov, the captain of nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, and Gennady Antokhin, the Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation. The authors of the voluntary "Big Arctic Cleaning" project hope that by combined efforts they would manage to clean Arctic territories from scrap metal and pollution with fuel and lubricants. Clean Arctic will unite the society, academic community, governmental authorities, and business. On August 2, another Clean Arctic expedition started on Taimyr Peninsula. A team of volunteers from 12 Russian regions kicked off the first voluntary mission to clean Arctic territories.
Rosatomflot Communications Department