On May 29, 2020, an accidental damage to a diesel fuel storage tank resulted in a fuel leak at Heat and Power Plant № 3 (HPP-3) in the Kayerkan neighborhood of the city of Norilsk. The accident was caused by a sudden sinking of supports of the storage tank which served accidents free for more than 30 years. HHP-3 is operated by Norilsk Nickel’s subsidiary, Norilsk-Taymyr Energy Company (NTEC).
A car that was passing by the fuel storage was caught fire upon contact with the fuel spill. The fire spread across a 300 square meters area before being fully extinguished. The vehicle’s driver escaped uninjured. The incident has had no impact on either the power supply or the water supply in the Norilsk industrial area.
Emergency teams from Nornickel’s Polar Division and NTEC immediately arrived to the site to start clean up works.
By the morning of May 30, more than 100 tonnes of spilt fuel had been collected, which will be shortly recycled. The contaminated soil has been removed and transported for temporary storage to a waterproof facility where oil cannot leak into the environment. The ground in the contaminated area before being replaced with fresh soil has been treated with sorbents.
Norilsk Nickel’s NTEC and the government’s environmental agency (Rosprirodnadzor) have organized joint aerial inspections of the water bodies of the Norilo-Pyasinsky water system to search for possible diesel contamination occurrences. Emergency rescue teams are establishing special containment booms near the mouth of the Ambarka River to collect any oil products and prevent them from spreading further.
Currently, NTEC teams are conducting an inspection of emergency diesel fuel storage facilities, with a special attention paid to assessing the risks of sinking soil under hazardous objects installed in permafrost.