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Norway and Russia launches a joint expedition to determine the condition of a sunken nuclear submarine and containers of radioactive waste dumped in the Barents Sea.

International attention towards the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea is increasing because of climate change concerns, the region’s mineral resources and the prospect of increased shipping across the Northern Sea Route. The extent of how these industries influence ocean health is still not fully understood in the Arctic science community.

The Russian mining and metallurgy giant Norilsk Nickel has got a 4,35 billion RUB (120 million EUR) claim from Russian environmental authorities for its pollution of rivers in the Krasnoyarsk Kray. Also in the Kola Peninsula, the company is a major contributor to pollution.

Photo: Barentsphoto.com

The North Pole is at the moment covered only by one-year old ice, all of which will melt in the course of summer, a Canadian ice expert says.

Environmental map of Russia

While Murmansk Oblast is the 10th cleanest region in Russia, the Komi Republic is the 9th most polluted, a new environmental study of Russian regions indicates.

Photo: Barentsphoto.com

Russian mining and metallurgy giant Norilsk Nickel confirms that it has bought cleaning technology for its plant in the border town of Nikel, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reports.

Photo: Barentsphoto.com

Some experts conclude that the North Pole may be covered by water, rather than ice, during the peak of the annual melt season at the end of the summer, and that the Northwest Passage could be ice-free for a time as well, the Washington Post reports.

The Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy has started its controversial collection of seismic data in the waters outside Lofoten, northern Norway. Meanwhile, environmentalists get ready for civil disobedience in the area.

Photo: Barentsphoto.com

The still-going-pollution of sulphur dioxide and heavy metals from the smelter in the Russian border-town of Nikel will be on the agenda when the Norwegian and Russian foreign ministers meet in Kirkenes in June.

Melkøya LNG plant (statoilhydro.com)

The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) turns down StatoilHydro request to continue the extraordinary emission of the climate gas CO2 from its liquid natural gas plant at Melkøya in Finnmark.

Greener Russia?

Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev admits that Russian environmental legislation is insufficient and that it opens up for subjectivity. He now says a new reform will harmonize green laws all over the country.

Pasvik-Inari

The Pasvik River flows from the great Lake Inari and extends towards the Barents Sea on the border of Norway and Russia. In this area, Norway, Finland and Russia have jointly established the Pasvik-Inari Trilateral Park.

The "Lepse" (Bellona.no)

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has allocated 43 million EUR to the decommissioning of the “Lepse” nuclear service ship, which is moored outside Murmansk packed with badly stored spent nuclear fuel.

Kola NPP (Barentsphoto.com)

A total of 16 municipal mayors in northern Norway have signed a protest letter against the Kola Nuclear Power plant’s planned prolongation of a reactor’s service life.

Jan Mayen

The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen should be turned into a nature reserve, the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management believes.