Russian officials on Monday (August 12th) acknowledged that the explosion that killed five people on Aug. 8 near Arkhangelsk in the north of the country was nuclear in nature. The test of a nuclear-powered missile went awry but the authorities deny the existence of a serious nuclear contamination.
With our correspondent in Moscow , Jean-Didier Revoin
Russia has come to recognize that last week's explosion in the White Sea , north-east of Arkhangelsk and close to Finland, did indeed have a nuclear character.
A failure of the Bourevestnik cruise missile
This is the failure of a missile test equipped with an energy source, using radioactive materials, including fissile material and radioisotopes, according to Vyatcheslav Soloviev, director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center.
The Russian press assumes that it is the cruise missile Bourevestnik , "bird of storm" in French and this accident comes to undermine the words of Vladimir Putin. Earlier this year, he described it as having an unlimited range and able to cross all interception systems.
According to the authorities, this explosion caused a temporary increase in radioactivity , which returned to normal levels in a few hours. Nevertheless, the authorities have banned navigation, fishing and swimming for a period of one to three months, depending on the areas concerned.
Turn on the light
They said they would complete testing of the new weapons, but said teams were in the process of shedding light on the causes of the incident.