The recording is of several news clips featuring footage taken of the sunken Russian nuclear submarine: Komsomolets, followed by a dub of raw footage of the wreck. The news stories all discuss the fall of the Komsomolets and the possible threat of leakage from the nuclear reactors and nuclear tipped warheads that were aboard this new class of submarines. According to the newscasters, the footage was released by the Soviets to the public with hopes to entice international awareness about the threat of nuclear leakage and to receive international aid in dealing with this situation. The raw footage of the Komsomolets that follows the section of news clips features various parts of the vessel as it lies deep in the ocean. A discussion can be heard by those aboard the submersible that is recording the wreck but the conversation is completely in Russian. News clips include statements from Dr. Joe MacInnis. The capture took place in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of northern Europe.
This recording is a documentary account of the survey conducted with the aid of the Mir submersibles of the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Komsomolets. The recording begins with an at sea memorial for sunken vessel. Next are shots of a map of the Komsomolets with certain areas marked in red, possibly where samplers and beacons will be left during the submarine dives to record radioactive leakage. Following this are dives to the sunken vessel in the Mir 1 and 2 submersibles. During the dives, Mir’s mechanical arms take parts and samples and leave samplers and other objects in and around the Komsomolets. The K-278 Komsomolets, a Soviet nuclear submarine, was launched May 9, 1983 and was lost April 7, 1989 in northern Europe in the Arctic Ocean. The submarine had an operating depth of 1000 meters and was designed with the ability to dive to 1500 meters. Aboard the vessel were torpedoes including two nuclear warheads. The submarine’s demise was caused by a fire; it sank to a depth of around 1500 meters. There were 25 survivors and 42 fatalities. The controversy surrounding the loss of this vessel has to do with radioactive contamination from the nuclear reactor and nuclear torpedoes. Leakage could potentially contaminate drinking water, affect fish population and the ecology. Several expeditions to the Komsomolets have been undertaken to probe the area. Although earlier tests showed no signs of dangerous leakage, later tests revealed this was not so. The Komsomolets has since been buried in mud to seal fractures and contain radioactive leakage.