Investigators probe reported Russian tundra pollution

An excavator disassembles a pipe from a Norilsk Nickel enrichment plant with water gushing into a river which runs into lake on tundra 1800 miles Northeast of Moscow, Russia. (Elena Kostyuchenko, Novaya Gazeta via AP)

Associated Press

Russia investigates contamination of tundra by nickel processing plant

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's main criminal investigation body has launched a probe after a report that a nickel-processing plant was pumping water contaminated with heavy metals into the Arctic tundra.

The reported pollution detailed Sunday by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper was in the same region where a massive spill of diesel fuel last month entered Lake Pyasino,, which feeds a branch of the Arctic Sea.

The newspaper released a video of what it said was water from a Norilsk Nickel enrichment plant gushing out of a pipe and into a river that also runs into the lake. The Investigative Committee branch for the region said it has sent investigators.

Norilsk Nickel, one of Russia's biggest companies, also owns the power plant from which some 21,000 tons of diesel fuel leaked in May when a storage reservoir collapsed, possibly due to melting permafrost.

Both facilities are north of the Arctic Circle, 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) northeast of Moscow, the Russian capital.

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