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Secret voyage of Russian freighter Mikhail Dudin with nuclear wastes

April 4, 2013 at 11:48 by Mikhail Voytenko in Container Shipping

Malta flagged Russian general cargo vessel Mikhail Dudin left Atomflot base, Murmansk, in the evening Apr 3 13 after offloading cargo of nuclear wastes, says Barents Observer news portal:

The only foreign flagged vessels making port calls to Atomflot are those with some kind of nuclear cargo. Atomflot is Russia’s only import site for containers with spent nuclear fuel. Other kind of radioactive material could be shipped to port in St. Petersburg. The vessel's route can be tracked from the portal Marine Traffic. Tracks show that "Mikhail Dudin" sailed out of the Kola bay at 20.30 local time Wednesday.

The cargo of nuclear waste reportedly comes from a former Soviet designed research reactor in Poland, and is part of a US, Russian cooperation to organize shipments of highly-enriched uranium back to Russia to avoid it from ending up in terrorists' hands.

From Poland, “Mikhail Dudin” has sailed towards the North Sea and northbound the coast of Norway towards the Barents Sea. The vessel has likely sailed outside Norwegian territorial waters.

Director of Norway’s Radiation Protection Authorities, Ole Harbitz, says to BarentsObserver that his organization has no information about any shipment of nuclear waste outside the coast of Norway last week.

Most probably, vessel’s AIS was switched off, sometime after Mar 15, and switched on after vessel left Murmansk. Last port of call was Tallinn, Mar 15. Maybe ecologists figured out the vessel’s route using LRIT data, with LRIT equipment being installed on board of all Malta flagged vessels, and vessels of a number of other countries, too.

  Secret voyage of Russian freighter Mikhail Dudin with nuclear wastes

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