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Norilsk Nickel will create a permafrost monitoring system

Russia’s Norilsk Nickel, a major global nickel and palladium producer, plans to design its own system for monitoring permafrost, buildings and structures, the company said.

A state of emergency was declared in Norilsk as a result of permafrost thawing. Several tons of diesel fuel leaked from the fuel tank at the TPP of Norilsk Energy Company No.3 and leaked into the neighboring river on May 29.

“A modern system for monitoring permafrost soils, equipped with advanced diagnostic methods, is being created. The deadline is 2021,” the Norilsk Nickel’s presentation says.

During a telephone conference for journalists on Thursday, Norilsk Nickel’s Operations Director Sergei Dyachenko noted that there is currently no ready-made system for such monitoring, so estimating its cost is still difficult.

He added that the company intends to use its own resources and, if necessary, the capabilities of Russian scientific organizations when implementing the project. It is not planned to involve foreign experts at the current stage.

In addition, Norilsk Nickel has already developed a program of urgent measures for 2020-2021 to increase the level of security and strengthen protective structures around hazardous facilities. For these purposes, it is planned to spend about 2.5 billion rubles ($35 million) in 2020 and – about 11 billion rubles ($141 million) next year.

Also, an ethnological examination began last week assessing the damage to indigenous peoples of the north from the fuel spill in Norilsk. The commission includes representatives of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs, scientists from Moscow State University, the Northern (Arctic) Federal University, the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology.

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