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Posts Tagged Nuclear submarine

K-19’s final stop?

You may be familiar with the story of the first Russian nuclear submarine, the ill-fated “K-19”, which had a nuclear accident on board which killed 8 main and others later. K-19 seemed to be one of those boats that was doomed from the start, having deaths that occurred during construction, a failed christening where the champagne bottle didn’t break, as well as all sorts of problems on the trial runs. Wikipedia has a timeline.

File:K-19.jpg

K-19 was the subject of a movie  K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson, is loosely based on the story of the K-19‘s first disaster. I happened to watch it last night on one of the movie channels on DirecTV and wondered whatever happened to the sub. I decided to go looking.

According to this news report (and others), K-19 was sent to the Nerpa shipyard in Snezhnogorsk, Murmansk Oblast for scrapping:

3/28/2002: K-19 TO BE SCRAPPED JUST AS MOVIE ABOUT TRAGEDY SET TO BE RELEASED
On 28 March 2002, the K-19 nuclear submarine was sent to the Nerpa Shipyard for dismantlement. The ship was decommissioned and its reactor removed in the 1970s; it has been in Ara Bay since 1990.The ship’s history, which earned it the nickname “Hiroshima,” includes a 1961 reactor accident that killed eight members of the crew, and a 1972 fire that killed another 28. Shortly after the second accident the K-19 was decommissioned from the Northern Fleet. In July 2002, an American movie about the accident, made by National Geographic, will be released, starring Harrison Ford as former Soviet Navy Captain Nikolay Zateyev. [1,2,3]
[1] “Legendaraya podlodka K-19 otpravlena na utilizatsiyu,” Interfax, 28 March 2002.
[2] “Plavuchaya ‘Khirosima’ otpravlena na utilizatsiyu,” Izvestiya, 29 March 2002.
[3] “Nuclear Submarine Sent for Scrapping,” RIA-Novosti, 28 March 2002; in FBIS Document CEP20020328000135. {Entered on 6/19/2002 TM}

I wondered if the boat might be visible in Google Earth via the historical imagery feature. I set about finding out. The first thing I needed to know was what the boat looked like, particularly from the top down view. I located these plans:

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