MURMANSK, June 10 (Itar-Tass) - Evacuation of the North Pole-40 (NP-40) research station that is drifting off the coast of Canada to the nuclear-powered icebreaker Yamal is proceeding in a round-the-clock regime, Yekaterina Ananyeva, press secretary of the ATOMFLOT enterprise of the Russian State Atomic Energy corporation Rosatom that manages Russia’s entire nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet, told Itar-Tass on Monday.
“All members of the station’s staff are safe and sound and are taking an active part in the evacuation of equipment,” she said. “It will depend on the weather conditions how long it will take to evacuate the team of 16 researchers, scientific equipment and household articles from drifting ice, since the operations is carried out with the use of a helicopter.”
The polar station that was launched last October, had to finish its work three months ahead of schedule. The ice floe on which the polar station’s crew is drifting has split into six fragments. After a thorough analysis of the situation on May 23, it was decided to evacuate the personnel and equipment of the research station.
The Yamal icebreaker that was sent from Murmansk overnight to June 1 reached the station off the Canadian coast late on June 8.
After the evacuation, the bulk of the station’s personnel will be taken to Murmansk but three staff members, according to Rosatomflot, will be dropped at Cape Baranov on the Bolshevik Peninsula of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. They will demothball a meteorological station.