The warnings about the malfunctions in Norilsk Nickel tanks appeared already in 2018
In the course of three major inspections at the Norilsk Nickel subsidiary - TPP-3 of the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company in 2017-2018, Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Oversight of Russia (Rostekhnadzor) revealed 33 violations.
Basically, the violations concerned the state of two tanks, RBC reports. It was found that in 2015 the company was supposed to clean the outer surface of the walls and roof of the tanks from rust, restore the anti-corrosion coating, and in 2016, conduct non-destructive inspection of the bottom. In his report, the inspector of the department stated that these works were not carried out.
It is noted that most of the equipment at TPP-3 dates from 1979-1980. The employees did not conduct an expert examination of industrial safety, and therefore, as Rostekhnadzor pointed out in 2017, “no further term for safe operation has been established”. In a number of identified violations, they were associated with breathing and safety valves that control pressure in three tanks with oil products, equipment of a pumping station, equipment of the chemical workshop of emergency facilities at CHPP-3.
In addition, the experts who carried out the audit considered that the Norilsk and Taimyr energy company action plan to correct previously identified violations did not meet the requirements, because it did not have a signature, there wasn’t “the composition and deployment of forces and equipment, emergency warehouses, vehicles involved in the liquidation of the accident, funds salvation".
In 2019-2020, Rostekhnadzor, after regular inspections, did not report any violations discovered or the elimination of previously discovered ones.
Recall that on May 29, 2020, an accident occurred at CHPP-3, as a result of which more than 20 thousand tons of oil products fell into neighboring rivers. Greenpeace estimated the damage at 6 billion rubles. Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced an emergency mode at the federal level.
Representatives of Norilsk Nickel indicate that reservoir 5 collapsed during this accident, and Rostekhnadzor indicated problems in reservoirs 2 and 3 in 2017. The company claims that all containers were in good condition, and the accident occurred due to weather conditions. The Government of the Krasnoyarsk Territory also adheres to this version: the foundation and supports sagged "suddenly", the bottom "torn off" at the tank.
“The supports have served for over 30 years without complaints”, - they say in Norilsk Nickel.