Sunday, April 09, 2006

Russian Who Prevented Nuclear Sub Explosion Nominated for Nobel Prize

April 06, 2006

Russian Nikolai Batarev has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for preventing an explosion which could have started a nuclear war in 1961.

Batarev, now 68, was a member of a Soviet nuclear submarine crew.

In 1961 K-19, the first Soviet nuclear submarine, was taking part in military exercises, her role being to imitate enemy actions, when an accident took place on board on July 4. The sub was 100 miles from a U.S. naval base in the North Atlantic.

The submarine’s reactor system broke down. A separate accident had disabled her long-range radio system, so the sub could not contact Moscow. The main danger was the possibility of a uranium leak into the water, while in case of an explosion both the USSR and the United States could have considered it as an attempted attack.

Nine crew members died during the operation to repair the reactor — Batarev was among those who prevented the nuclear explosion.



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